Norway’s Matilde Garnes has qualified for the Crossfit Games by taking fourth place at Lowlands Throwdown semifinal. Mads Jacobsen sits down with Matilde and talks about how being a part of the Norwegian federation has helped her grow as an athlete.
First of all – congratulations on qualifying! Have you realized what you’ve done yet?
”Thanks a lot. It still feels like it’s all in the air. I’ve had one week of with my family but I think it will become more real when I start training for Games – which was today actually…”
You are a part of the NOR3F organization, what is that exactly?
“It’s the national federation for functional fitness in Norway and we are under the National Sports Federation and recognized by the Norwegian Olympic Committee. We have a national team with ten athletes that train regularly together. We have a head coach (Simen Aaslund) and a mental coach (Kristin Holte) and an amazing team around us.”
So what’s the ambition of the team?
“To support the athletes to compete at a high level in the sport. We want to grow the sport and everything around it.”
How did you get involved in the NOR3F?
“Haha, I can’t remember. I was just a newbie back then and I started crossfit as a training form and didn’t think I was going to compete or anything. But a little later I was talked into joining an individual competition and it turned out to be the Norwegian Nationals, haha.”
How did you do in that event?
“Ehh, I actually placed fifth. And I remember I was thinking I just didn’t wanna place last. Maybe top-20 would be fun… And it was also qualifier for Worlds 2018 (in London) so I managed to make the National Team.”
That’s a pretty awesome start! I know you also have a scholarship from NOR3F. How does that work?
“It helps me being able to focus a bit more on my training and get more time off from work.”
You’re a part of the National Team, how does that work?
“They are selecting a team for one year at a time. They pick five males and five females after World Championships and those ten athletes get to train together on a regular basis and with the best athletes in Norway.”
What’s the biggest take away from working with such a legit group of people?
“We learn so much from eachother and we also get to do some advance testing, for example lactic threshold with Simen (Aaslund). And we get to go on lectures and seminars with very skilled professionals on various topics such as nutrition, recovery and mental training.”
“Also for me, it has been a game changer the last year because I was struggling with an injury and since we’re a part of the National Sports Program we have an insurance that allowed me to have a surgery the same week I needed it and then I got the best physio therapists and doctors to take care of me. I wouldn’t have been able to fight for a ticket to the Games this year without that help.”
Speaking of competitions, the iF3 has the ambition to make functional fitness an Olympic sport. What would it mean to you be able to go to the Olympics as an athlete?
“That would really mean a lot. It would have been amazing and I feel we really belong there. I really hope they will consider it and before I’m too old, haha…”