Almost all coaches have left the Norwegian-Chinese sports cooperation

Li ZhanshuPhoto: Vidar Ruud / NTB

Only eight of the 60 coaches and managers who were hired as part of the sports agreement between Norway and China have not quit their jobs, according to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

“As far as I’m concerned, I felt that this was not justifiable. It was difficult to be there and not be allowed to have more influence,” said Anita Moen, who returned home from China in August 2020.

Together with Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Kristin Størmer Steira, she was hired in 2018 as a coach for Chinese athletes in winter sports ahead of the Olympics.

Sports agreement

The commitment was a result of a sports agreement that was signed in 2017. It was a part of the normalization of relations between Norway and China after the tensions created by the Peace Prize award to Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

According to a survey conducted by NRK Brennpunkt, around 60 Norwegian coaches and managers were engaged by the Chinese Ski Association or indirectly through their partner Swix China.

Almost everyone has quit, either because they have given up or because the project was closed down, according to the NRK documentary.

The sports agreement has received strong criticism, among other things, for being a tool for improving political and diplomatic relations between Norway and China.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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