August 12, 2021
This summer fifteen-year-old Alvar Myhlback trained with the Russian National Team in the Torsby ski tunnel in Sweden. He skied together with world class seniors like Surgej Ustiugov, Ivan Jakimusjkin and Jevgenij Belov. During intense interval training sessions, he was able to maintain the same pace as the Russian National Team skiers, who are among the best in the world.
His father, Petter Myhlback, was a former XC sprinter on the Swedish National Team. After four years in Trysil, Norway, Alvar is back in his hometown of Bjursas in Dalarna. For the last two years he skied for a Norwegian team with trainer Sondre Sundby, whose brother is World Champion Martin Jonsrud Sundby. Almost all the other members of the team are Seniors while Alvar is still too young to enter races even as a Junior (skiers in the Junior class must be at least 16 years old).
This summer Alvar entered a 10-kilometer running race that included top Scandinavian XC skiers. He beat some of the best by almost a minute in a time of 33’ 48”.
I had never heard of Alvar before I read about him in a Norwegian newspaper.
I usually check the results of Junior skiers in Norway and Sweden to see who the next star could be. Since Myhlback is still not a Junior, I never saw his name before. I decided to check the races he entered from age 8 to 14, his last ski season. I found the results for 53 races he entered. He won 42, was second 4 times and third 3 times. But when I looked more closely found that from the age of 13, he won every race he entered. Since he is so young, most races were 5km and shorter, but found one 9km race in Norway that he won in an astonishing 21’ 33”. That’s 2’ 23” per kilometer. On March 14, 2021, fourteen-year-old Alvar entered the 18km Kittilirennet in Trysil Norway. This is a very tough course with steep up-hills. He won by over two minutes, beating all the Norwegian Seniors.
Julius Solheim, head of the Norwegian Team that Alvar skied for in Trysil before he moved back to Bjursas said: “Alvar, for his age, is without any doubt, the best XC skier in the world.”
Thomas Wassberg, four-time World Champion and four-time Olympic Gold medalist is worried that Alvar might be training too hard or taking XC skiing too seriously and could burn out by the time he is a Senior racer. Let’s hope not.