FIS wants to express deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Jenny Olsson. Sweden Ski Team has lost a champion. Happy, positive and talented Jenny "Jempa" Olsson died on Sunday from cancer. Her death feels heavy and unfair. The Asarna skier was great both in and out the cross-country courses.
When the World Championships were held in Val di Fiemme in 2003, Jenny Olsson stood in front line already at the opening. Her eyes were shining with happiness to represent Sweden. She was signing autographs among flags and balloons and took the time with all children who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the superstars.
Jenny loved the place and spread positive energy around. A few days later, she made one of her best races in her career. In the ladies’ 15 km classic mass start she was fighting for medals and finished fifth in the race, which was won by Norway’s Bente Skari before Kristina Smigun, Estonia. She was beaming at the official ceremony as she stood in the spotlight in the square of Cavalese followed by millions of TV viewers and thousands of fans in place. The moment is unforgettable and a memory to keep now when Jenny has left 32 years old.
Jenny Olsson was an outstanding ambassador of Cross-Country Skiing and she will be forever part of her beloved Asarna IK's soul where she got the support to meet the huge sporting success. Together with her friends Mariana Handler, Anna Olsson, Sofia Lind and Ida Olsson, Jenny Olsson brought Jämtland country club to four national championships titles in the relay and lots of team gold. Individually Jenny Olsson won five national championships.
In 2003, she became the skiing queen of Sweden after two individual national championships titles, gold in the relay and fifth place in the World Cup. Her career ended in 2006. The year before she discovered a lump in her breast. She fought back in the squad, but the strength was not there as before. Instead, she found love and set up a family. After having given birth to her son Vidar in 2009, doctors discovered that the cancer has spread. Last Sunday, her vital strength was gone.
Club-mate and friend Mariana Handler has taken the initiative to honor Jenny: "To those of you who want to honor our wonderful Jempa other way than with flowers, there is now a bank account for her son Vidar’s future".
Sweden’s Cross-Country Ski Team and Swedish Ski Association are mourning. Our thoughts are with Jenny’s bereaved.