World champion skier has to be held back from attacking eco activists disrupting top race
A furious skier had to be held back from eco activitsts at the Alpine Skiing World Cup on Saturday.
World champion skier Henrik Kristoffersen had to be held back from attacking climate activists after they disrupted the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Austria on Saturday. Members of the Last Generation organisation entered the course and sprayed orange paint onto the snow.
With the slalom event ongoing and five skiers waiting to compete and push for a spot on the podium, members of the ‘Last Generation’ group rushed onto the snow and spray-painted their surroundings orange.
Others then held signs up around the course and also sat behind the finishing line in the hope of delaying the event – and their efforts proved successful. Stewards and local police rushed to escort the group away from the hill despite the activists’ attempts to outstay their welcome.
Norway’s most successful slalom skier Kristoffersen did not take kindly to the disruption though and quickly attempted to move towards members of the group. The 29-year-old lunged towards one activist as he tried to launch an attack towards the group, shouting his frustrations at other members of the organisation.
A member of the police and several stewards had to prevent Kristoffersen from getting within touching distance of the activists and landing himself in trouble for defending his beloved sport.
Speaking after the event to Norway’s national broadcaster NRK, he said: “It’s so disrespectful. Say what you want, vote and try to change things from there. But don’t ruin it for people. It’s completely disgusting.”
Kristoffersen went on to finish seventh in the event, with Manuel Feller winning the event and rounding off a clean sweep on the podium for Austria. After reflecting on his conduct on Saturday evening, Kristoffersen then took to X (Twitter) to explain that he was not trying to play down the importance of protecting the climate, but that he felt the group were wrong to disrupt the Skiing World Cup.
He said: “Not too far off the podium on a bad day, but a lot of work to be done ahead of the next races in Val d’Isere. Today’s situation during the second round will divide a lot of opinions, but I am one to take action if I feel injustice. There is no doubt that the climate is a huge issue, and I don’t want to oppress that. However, disruption of a cultural event will never be the time or place. For most of the athletes, this is their everything. At least four racers got their race ruined today, and that is injustice in my eyes. Thank you for all the support I have received.”