The season is over, the fight for equality and more competitions does not stop. With the end of winter and with it the big television platform, the Nordic combined athletes around model athlete Nathalie Armbruster want to remain visible.
"It is also the case that the fight for recognition will continue. Similar to women's ski jumping or women's football, to name two examples, this is part of the game to a certain extent," said team manager Horst Hüttel from the German Ski Association (DSV). "We have to make sure that we simply make progress in terms of public image and establishment in the German sports world."
Protest with painted mustaches
For the 2026 Olympics, the women's combined was not taken into account, so the men are also threatened with the end of the Winter Games from 2030. To protest against the IOC's decision, numerous athletes painted mustaches on their faces in Oslo on Saturday.
The television presence at the World Cup was good for the women, but the prospects are difficult in view of the uncertain future of the Olympics. Nathalie Armbruster, just 17 years young, will continue to fight for the combination, but has other things to do from Monday. "Of course I have to go to school, now everyday life is coming back. This will be a huge change. Then I will take care of the driver's license and then slowly start training again," she said at Holmenkollen.
At the last World Cup, the Norwegian Gyda Westvold Hansen was once again unbeatable, she was already more than a minute in the lead after the ski jumping and defended this cushion over the five kilometers in the cross-country ski trail loosely. Her compatriot Ida Marie Hagen and Japan's Anju Nakamura completed the podium.
For Nathalie Armbruster it was only enough for ninth place after a weak jump. However, the 17-year-old defended second place in the overall standings in her first full World Cup winter. "I'm incredibly happy that I was able to defend this place. It's just incredible, totally surreal and really overwhelming. It's crazy how this season went," said Armbruster. She is "really happy and a bit proud".
Her sporting goal next winter: to defeat Gyda Westvold Hansen, who won all ten World Cups and the World Championship race.