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Sports Year 2022: World-class performances and very few top-8 ranking points

The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is the last international sporting event of the year. And with Denmark’s worst World Cup result ever, it is now possible to evaluate the Danish athletes’ and team’s results in the past 12 months. The Sports Confederation of Denmark, Team Denmark and the media will probably highlight a … Read more

The sports psychologist’s competences: Professional knowledge, experience from practice and a strong network

The interaction between brain and body is strangely and in elite sports it is crucial. This realization became clear to me more than four decades ago when I met Lars-Eric Uneståhl from Örebro University, who was a supervisor on a seminar for table tennis coaches, where I was among the participants. Pioneer with visions and … Read more

A warm autumn evening at Visit Mallorca Estadi

“Delaney – No, Dolberg – No. We have never played as badly as this season as long as I have been a fan of Sevilla FC. And I have been since I was 8 years old. The team lacks skilled players like Poulsen. But I will always have my club in my heart – no … Read more

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye …

Everything has an expiry date – including life and the individual chapters in life. This fact also applies to the world stars of sports. For that reason, 41-year-old Roger Federer’s official farewell match in international top tennis a few days ago became an event with lots of emotions, both on and off the court. It … Read more

Munich ’72, Fredborg and Black September

A few weeks ago, I met at a reception at DOKK1 in Aarhus one of the “sports heroes” from my childhood: Niels Fredborg. Immediately, I recognized 75-year-old Fredborg and we had a good conversation about many different topics: financial advice, Saxild Strand – where both Niels and my parents had a summer house for a … Read more

“Soft power”: An effective political tool in international elite sports

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will be held in a few months in the authoritarian emir state, is the provisional “highlight” of authoritarian states’ use of international sporting events as a political tool. “Sportswashing” is called the phenomenon by journalists, researchers and politicians – in and outside of the world of sport – but … Read more

Hard work and loyalty – Michael Mørkøv’s path to sporting success

There are days that are easy to remember. Among these is Sunday, August 17 – 14 years ago – when the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing were ongoing. Early in the morning, the trip went from the hotel to the Laoshan Velodrome, where the preliminary time trial and quarter-finals of the 4 km team pursuit were to be held.

Capital and competencies: The road to championships and medals

Capital and competencies, both on and off the pitch, are the two crucial factors in winning championships and medals in professional sport. Analyzes of Danish and international football have shown that in recent decades there is a clear connection between the professional clubs’ sporting results and finances – the ability and willingness to attract and retain skilled players, head coach, sports manager, assistant coaches, health staff and administrative staff.

Play the Game: Watchdog for 25 years

In a few weeks (June 27-30, 2022), Odense will host Play the Game’s 25th anniversary conference: “Play the Game – is there a cure for sports?”. At the conference, more than 400 journalists, researchers, experts, athletes, managers, politicians, whistleblowers and others from around the world will discuss the “shadow sides” of sport – and there are (still) many of them.

The Lions – Finland’s national pride

On Friday night, the puck will be thrown in Nokia Arena Tampere for the opening match – Finland vs. Norway – at “2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship”. And now, 16 days of national celebration begin – not only in Helsinki and Tampere, which are the host cities of the World Championship – but throughout Finland, where the national ice hockey team – “The Lions” – is a national pride.

Danish team handball: International honor and significant dropouts of children and youth players

Denmark is currently the world’s strongest handball nation with World Championships title for men’s team in 2019 and 2021 as well as the selection of both two international top players – Sandra Toft and Niklas Landin – and two national coaches – Jesper Jensen and Nicolaj Jacobsen – as the world’s best in 2021.

Best Nordic Winter Olympics ever

The last two competitions at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing became visible evidence of the Nordic countries’ sporting success at the Games. First, the Norwegian cross-country queen Therese Johaug won 30 km freestyle and a few minutes later, Finland’s national pride – “The Lions“ – became Olympic champions in ice hockey after a deserved 2-1 victory over the defending Olympic champions from Russia.

Biathlon – the most fascinating sport at the 2022 Winter Olympics

Biathlon is a fascinating sport that is among the most popular at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The sport consists of the ski discipline cross-country skiing and precision shooting with a rifle. The combination of many different skills of biathletes – endurance, speed, strategy, precision and concentration – includes dramas such as changing leads between athletes and 10-15 biathletes as potential medal winners.

The Paralympic Games – seen through Danish eyes

There are moments in one’s life that can be quickly and easily drawn out on the retina. Among such moments in my life are several from the Paralympic Games: Peter Rosenmeier’s 3-1 final victory in set against German Daniel Arnold at Beijing University Gymnasium with enthusiastic 5,000 spectators at PL 2008 in Beijing, Annika Lykke Dalskov’s two bronze medals in dressage at Greenwich Park and Jackie Christiansen’s superb 18.16-meter shot put – almost 4 meters longer than the nearest competitors – at Queen Elizabeth Stadium with more than 70,000 spectators at the PL 2012 in London.

Success of Danish hockey: Two national teams at the 2022 Winter OG

There is not necessarily a logical connection between the number of members and a federation’s sporting results. Danish ice hockey is an excellent example of these facts. The Danish Ice Hockey Union (DIU) has only registered a little more than 6,000 members in 17 clubs.

The crown jewel of the OG: A past with corruption, nepotism and bad governance

Athletics has always – as a global sport, commercially and as topic in the medias – been the “crown jewel” of the Olympic Games. Legends like Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Bob Beamon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Sergie Bubka and Usain Bolt are not the only former Olympic gold medalists in athletics.

Una difesa forte vince campionate

“Strikers win matches, but a strong defense wins championships”. This is what one of Italy’s greatest coaching legends – Arrigo Sacchi – stated after he was hired as head coach of A.C. Milan in the summer of 1987. Until Sacchi was hired by A.C. Milan had by far the majority of Serie A clubs and … Read more

Derby della Madonnina

All emotions are at the highest level by players, coaches, managers and fans when arch-rivals from F.C. Internazionale and A.C. Milan on Sunday night match up at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza in Milan. The local derby between two of Italy’s most traditional and winning football clubs is the highlight of the year for all Milanese, … Read more

Denmark vs. Asia

Badminton is one of the few sports where Denmark has continuously been among the world’s best nations for decades. The unique position was confirmed last week at the World Mixed Team Championships – the Sudirman Cup – in Finland, where Denmark was the only European nation that qualified to the quarterfinals, where it turned into … Read more

The power of money: New book on the logic of free market forces in Danish and international sports

Did you know that European football clubs such as FC Barcelona, ​​Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have more than doubled their financial turnover over the past ten years, so that their annual turnover today amounts to 6-8 billions .… pr. club. Did you know that the Spanish top club FC Real Madrid and the multinational … Read more

From physical exercises to sports and biomechanics

“It is the story that the right circumstances and the right people in the right place can create lasting results.” Thus, one of the 37 contributors – professor and head of research unit Jan Hartvigsen – writes in the anniversary book: “From physical exercises to sports and biomechanics – 50 years with the body in … Read more

Great success at the 2020 Olympics for the Nordic countries

The final medals at the XXXII Olympic Games have been distributed and 11,326 athletes from 206 nations are now returning home with victories, defeats, tears of joy and disappointment, new friendships, shattered dreams, hopes in new Olympic experiences in 3 years in Paris, a life without training and competitions and much, much more. For the … Read more

Olympic dreams, character and sensitivity of life

On Sunday, July 25, it is exactly 10 years since I had one of my greatest experiences as a spectator at an international sporting event: the 14th World Aquatics Championships, which was held in Shanghai, China. The mood among the 18,000 spectators – almost all Chinese – in the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center was very … Read more

Danish 2020 Olympics medal candidates – No guarantee of success

In a few weeks, the Olympic flame will be lit at the “National Stadium” in Tokyo. Due to the global pandemic, the XXXII Olympic Games will be a very special event, as the vast majority of Japanese want the 2020 Tokyo Olympics either postponed or completely canceled. In addition, no spectators without Japan will have … Read more

The Siamese twins of football

On Friday night, the UEFA EURO 2020 opening match will be played at the Stadio Olympico in Rome, where the hosts from Italy will meet Turkey. The expectations for the Italian national football team – “Gli Azzurri” – are, as always, ahead of international championships, especially in Italy. The reason is that the football-loving nation … Read more

Ministry of Sports – Worthless without an active state sports policy

“Sport is sport and politics is politics. It may be that it is a bit old-fashioned, but there are also some things that are worth sticking to. It must be the sports organizations’ own task to decide their attitudes to political issues”. This statement, which was made a few months ago by Minister of Culture … Read more

Mr. FC Bayern Munich

On Saturday afternoon, FC Bayern Munich can win the German championship in football with an away win over Mainz 05 for the 9’th year in a row. Only two players have been part of the team in all 9 seasons; the goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer as well as club legend Thomas Müller, who is … Read more

“Green heart” – about colour of club, logo and … quality

Denmark’s second largest team sport – handball – is in a transition phase, where clubs with core values ​​such as voluntariness, inclusion, diversity and social community are under strong commercial pressure. Among Denmark’s absolutely strongest handball clubs with these core values ​​is Skanderborg Handball, which is now changing both club color and logo. The reason … Read more

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – the world’s biggest PR stunt

This week, the first European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar, which without comparison is the most controversial international sporting event since the 1936 Olympic Games in Nazi Germany. At present, only Qatar as World Cup host have secured a place among the 32 nations that in the period … Read more

Foreign investors in Danish club football

Over the past decade, international club football has developed into a giant entertainment industry, with capital-rich investors across countries and continents radically changing the clubs’ ownership structure. One of the world’s largest football clubs – Manchester United – with an annual turnover of more than DKK 5 billion – is today owned by a number … Read more

The dream of National Hockey League

“Dreams are often the most beautiful in life, and he who can not dream, and whose spirit does not look into the distant, he will not achieve anything great either.” This was stated by the German philosopher, politician and Chancellor Gustav Stresemann, who in 1923 received the Nobel Peace Prize. The statement accurately describes the … Read more

Norway versus rest of the world

Next week, over half a million Norwegians will follow the live TV broadcasts from the IBU World Championships 2021 in biathlon, which will be held in Pokljuka in Slovenien. This is not least due to the fact that both the female and male biathletes from Norway have been very dominated in this season’s World Cups, … Read more

The mental health of Danish elite athletes is neither better nor worse than the population as a whole

A research project on the mental health and well-being of Danish elite athletes, which has just been published in the scientific journal “Psychology of Sport & Exercise” (No. 52 – 2021) shows that Danish elite athletes have the same mental health and well-being as the population as a whole. The research project also shows that … Read more

2020: Annus corona horribilis – also in the world of sport

The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has affected every person’s behavior and everyday life, both locally, nationally and globally. For several weeks and months, girls and boys have had training, matches and competitions in football, swimming and gymnastics canceled. And international sporting events, such as the 2020 Olympic Games and the 2020 European Championships in football, … Read more

Atalanta B.C. – from “lift club” to CL quarter-finalist

“The main explanations for our performance success are a systematic game concept, the ability to develop the individual players and the crew treatment at a very high level. We cannot afford to buy world stars like the big clubs as Juventus F.C., A.C. Milan, F.C. Inter, A.S. Roma or S.S. Lazio, but instead find potential … Read more

«La bella momenti della vita» – about the values of life and football

Most Italians have a particular passion for art, design, fashion, gastronomy, wine and … football. For generations of Italians, this has given precisely the beauty and meaning of life: “La bella momenti della vita”, as the life-revelers of the boot country say with enthusiasm and glow in the voices. During these weeks I also enjoy … Read more

UEFA Champions League: The rich get richer and the poor get …

Next week, the first round of the UEFA Champions League group stage of the 2020-2021 season will be played. And for the first time since the autumn of 2013 with a Danish club – FC Midtjylland – among the 32 clubs, which are divided into 8 groups. 47 clubs from 40 nations in Europe did … Read more

A gentleman from Croydon

On Saturday afternoon, there is a top match in the world’s best football league: Crystal Palace F.C. vs. Everton F.C. from Liverpool at Selhurst Park in the south-east of London. There are very few who had predicted a top match between these two clubs after the first two rounds and there are certainly even fewer … Read more

Putin, State doping and a new (inter)national Act

Sport has, both before and after the collapse of communism in the early 1990s, had a very special status and role in Russia. This is not least due to President Vlademir Putin’s strong personal passion for sport, which he has used as an essential weapon to strengthen himself and his political project of a united … Read more

Should Danish Elite sport be supervised?

Elite sports have a very low priority by the politicians of the Danish Parlament (Folketing) and the government ministers, except when they are guests at the Confederation of Danish Sports (DIF) during the Olympic Games or prizes are to be awarded at annual TV galla shows where Denmark’s best athletes are honored. During the coming … Read more

With the body into the culture – Gleam of light in Sport history

Did you know that love affairs between young athletes and between them and older men who took care of their upbringing were part of daily life in ancient schools, that gladiatorial battles in the Roman Empire between armed men and against animals were extremely bloody and often fatal, that the Danish health apostle and sportsman … Read more

Which Nordic countries have the greatest chances of sporting success at the 2020 Olympics?

In late March 2020, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan’s government decided to postpone the XXXII Olympic Games, which should have been held during the period July 24 – August 9, 2020. And, probably until the summer of 2021, there will continue to be great uncertainty about … Read more

You’ll Never Walk Alone

When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high And don’t be afraid of the dark At the end of a storm There’s a golden sky And the sweet silver song of a lark Walk on through the wind Walk on through the rain Though your dreams be tossed and blown Walk on, … Read more

The battle for the Danish Championship: FCK vs. FCM …. also for the coming years

Next week, the Danish Super League in football resumes after almost 3 months of break due to corunavirus. Unfortunately without spectators at the stadiums – but better late than never and better with second best solution than no solution. However, the best thing about playing the remaining two rounds of the basic tournement, the “Top-6-play” … Read more

League clubs in Danish elite sport under intensive financial pressure

The league clubs in Danish football, handball and ice hockey are facing some very intensive financial challenges in these weeks. Admittedly, the professional clubs are covered by the two state “aid packages” on salary compensation and compensation for canceled matches, which partially cover the clubs’ costs for salary, rents, insurance and much more. In addition, … Read more

From outskirt to frontskirt. The fight of gymnastics in a century

New book on OD, Danish gymnastics, academies, politics and cultural history on the occasion of the 100’th anniversary of Academy of Physical Education, Ollerup. No state, organization, private company or school can be established or developed by individuals, regardless of their knowledge, capabilities, passion or ability to act. But personal leadership is nevertheless one of … Read more

Sport as a tool for a better everyday life or … big business

These are special experiences that bring memories to life – both inside and outside the world of sports. One of my special experience is the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with London as a fantastic host city. It is no coincidence that London has hosted the world’s biggest sporting event for three times. For centuries, … Read more

KSDH, KSDH, KSDH …

Aarhus Gymnastics Club of 1880, GF or “The whites of Fredensvang”: Dear child has many names. This is also the case with AGF from Aarhus: The city’s football pride with 5 Danish Championships and 9 Cup titles, which is a Danish record. AGF is also the club in Denmark that has played the most seasons … Read more

“Investegation of conditions for elite athletes in the Danish Swimming Federation” – Personal comments

A few days ago, “Investegation of the conditions for elite athletes in the Danish Swimming Federation” (February 6, 2020) prepared by the Chamber of Lawyers was published. The investegation was carried out on the basis of the documentary program of the Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) “Swimming stars – Under the surface”, which was sent in … Read more

Do you best – New book about children and adolencents in school, sport and society

“Talk nicely”, “Behave well” and “Do your best”. Born in the 1950’s, raised as a child in the 1960’s and adolencent in the 1970’s, expressions like these have always had value and meaning to me. But the words for today’s children and adolencents have different values ​​and meanings than for my generation. Every generation, every … Read more

Sports Year 2019: Historic World Championships and few Top 8-rankings

The 2019 World Championships in Handball became two very different experiences, for players, coaches, managers, journalists and spectators. In the first month of the year, the Danish men’s team for the first time ever won the World Championship in handball. On home court, the men’s team throughout the World Championship – not least in the … Read more

The dream that was crushed by power politics and a foolished rental contract

A few months ago, Team Denmark published a press release stating “… that Team Denmark and the Sports Conferation of Denmark (DIF) at a common board meeting decided to lift the vision of building a national elite sports center in Copenhagen to a comprehensive solution involving the whole country” and beyond ” … that Team … Read more

US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center: One of the factors behind US sports dominance in international elite sport

The United States has been the world’s best sports nation since the turn of the Millennium, especially because of the great dominance of the Summer Olympic disciplines. The United States’ dominance in international elite sport was most recently confirmed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where athletes and teams from the United States won a total … Read more

Talent development and elite sport in secondary schools

The revision of the Act on Elite sport in 2004 contained two new tasks for Team Denmark. The aims of the institution are to develop Danish elite sport in a socially responsible way. Firstly, the so-called 15-year rule was abolished, which meant that Team Denmark also had the opportunity to take responsibility for recruiting and … Read more

Unique talent, hard training and conscious choices: Karsten Warholm’s pathway to international success

One of the greatest favorites in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship is 23-year-old Karsten Warholm, who was born and raised in Ulsteinvik – a village with 6,000 inhabitants on the West Coast of Norway. There are several reasons for Warholm’s favorite role in the 400-meter hurdle, for example he became World Champion two years … Read more

Danish rowing before the 2020 Olympics: Two candidates for medals and disappointing Olympic qualifications

Danish athletes and teams have won a total of 45 medals at the last 5 Olympic Games, which have been held since the Millennium. Top scorer among the medal winners is rowing, which has won a total of 9 Olympic medals (3 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals) closely followed by sailing with 8 … Read more

Generational change in Danish badminton requires targeted efforts in relation to the recruitment and development of female players

In two weeks the TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2019 will take place in Switzerland and Denmark have “only” Top 8-seeded players in two categories: Anders Antonsen in men’s singles and Kim Astrup and Anders Skårup in men’s doubles – the lowest number of seedings since the first BWF Badminton World Championships were held in … Read more

Back home to Aarhus by the lane of memories

Next week I moved back to the capital of Jutland after 38 years “away from home”. The reason I left Aarhus in the summer of 1981 was that I was “forced to do so” to complete my master’s degree in Political Science and Physical Education. At that time, only P.E. was offered at the University … Read more

Japan heading for great sporting success at the 2020 Olympics

There is only one year to Tokyo in the days of July 24 – August 9 will host the 2020 Olympics. The populous and proud empire was also in 1964 host of the first Olympic Games held in Asia. In addition, Japan has previously been very successful in organizing the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo … Read more

World-class talent development: The key factor for international success of Finnish ice hockey

2019 IIHF World Championship 2019 was a great success for Finland, which during the tournament defeated Sweden in the quartar final, Russia in the semi final and in the WC final the big favorites from Canada with 3 – 1. On the Finnish team, which primarily consisted of players from the Finnish league, there was … Read more

Still in deep water: A life buoy was thrown, but without land in sight

Two weeks ago, I was very surprised that Team Denmark submitted “Statement to the Minister of Culture about the DR documentary: Swimming stars – below the surface” without prior contact or dialogue with the undersigned, who was the CEO of Team Denmark during the period 1’st of September 2006 – 17’th of December 2014. Very … Read more

In deep water – the Act on Elite sport, capacity and relations of power

Denmark is one of the few countries in the World where the parliament – the “Folketing”, which pass all legislation and which controls how the government manages the legislation – has passed an Act on Elite sport. It was the most visionary Minister of Culture, Niels Matthiasen, who had the office in 1971-73 and 1975-80, … Read more

More and more adolescents are “drop outs” in the Danish football and handball clubs

Of course, the bottom line of any account is important, but the revenues and expenses can also be very interesting. And sometimes the most important information is the notes of the account with small founts. This was the case when the two largest sports organizations in Denmark – The Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) and … Read more

Norway – the World’s best winter sport nation

In recent weeks, the World Championships 2019 in alpine skiing, Nordic disciplines – cross-country skiing, ski jumping and combined – and biathlon showed once again that Norway is the World’s best winter sports nation. Norway won a total of 38 WC medals (20 gold, 9 silver and 9 bronze medals) in 45 disciplines, including 44 … Read more

Track cycling – the best Danish medal chances at the 2020 Olympics

Cycling – especially track cycling – is both historically and currently one of Denmark’s best sports. Denmark is among the ten best cycling nations in the world despite modest 5,300 license riders under the age of 18 and only three tracks in Ballerup (Copenhagen), Odense and Aarhus. The majority of the 26 Olympic medals, which … Read more

Finnish elite sports: Proud traditions, new organizational structure and current challenges

Finland has a strong historical tradition for elite sports. Since the Olympic debut in 1908, the proud sports nation has won a total of 303 medals at the Summer Olympics, ranking Finland with a modest population of 5.5 million inhabitants as the most winning nation per inhabitants of all 28 Summer Olympics – in front … Read more

First World Championship in men’s team handball for Denmark?

The 2019 World Championship in men’s team handball starts in next week and Denmark is the host nation for the second time in history. The hostess is shared with Germany, but except for the opening match against Chile played in Copenhagen and the two semifinals played in Hamburg, all Denmark’s matches are played in Herning. … Read more

Sports year 2018: It’s still the wrong direction for Danish elite sports

The Danish national team in women’s team handball ended with a modest 8’th place at the European Championships in France in the sports year 2018. It’s now 14 years since Denmark has won a medal at EC in women’s team handball and the way back to the world’s top four for the women’s team in … Read more