Russian 90's ski star Yelena Välbe, has taken over the position as the "head coach" of the Russian National Team. "In Sochi Russian cross-country skiers will meet my own unfulfilled ambitions", says Välbe.
As a skier Välbe had a very eventful career. She was the dominant skier in international women's cross country in the 1990s, winning many trophies from both the Olympics, World Championships and World Cup. The only thing she never achieved, was to win an individual Olympic gold medal. The 1997 World Cup in Trondheim gave Välbe a fantastic record by winning five gold medals out of a possible five. She retired after the Olympics in 1998, where she helped Russia win its third relay gold in a row.
Now the 44-year-old, who is already the President of the Russian Cross-Country Ski Association will lead Russia's cross country team towards success at home in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. This also means that the former coach has new tasks. In view of the Olympics 2014, it is now too late to break with what has been established in terms of building something new. "We restructured one year after the Olympic Games in Vancouver", says Välbe. At the 2006 Winter Olympics the Russian team under your leadership won seven medals - two gold, two silver and three bronze. "I have already spoken about my ambitions many times. I am often asked why I came back to take over the team and so on. Yes, I have an unsatisfied ambition as a racer. If the Russian cross-country skiers meet these, I would be the happiest person in the world. Our team is bigger than it was in Torino 2006. Many do not want me to talk about our future plans. But let me say that in Sochi in 2014, we can expect much. Especially in the sprint. It is in our hands."