Alvar Johannes Alev is a 27-year-old Estonian cross-country skier whose results have been adversely affected by the poor winters at home, a lack of supporters, and the scandals that have torn through Estonian skiing circles in the past few years, making a career in skiing an even more difficult undertaking.
However, Alev has a brighter outlook towards the future, as he has secured two training seasons with the Norwegian ski club, Heming.
For nearly half a year now, Alev has been training with Heming, one of the best ski clubs in Norway and as a part of Team OBOS Norway. The skier knew that if he wanted to accomplish anything in the field he loves, he’d have to look further afield from Estonia.
That’s how he ended up choosing between four Norwegian ski clubs and finally picking Heming. “Norway is the best skiing country in the world, so who better to learn from than the best? Secondly, the conditions here are great with regards to weather and there are still things to learn from Norwegians about technique,” says the young skier, optimistic about the future.
Taking into account what has happened in the Estonian skiing field in the past years, both formal and private financial support for skiers has practically dried up. Thus, Alev has had to deal with his career on his own. Looking for training and competing opportunities, financial support and everything else that goes with this profession.
Inevitably, this will have an effect on skiing results and as it is, his results have remained below his true potential. Because the athlete gets to focus mainly on the sport itself while training in Norway (the club is responsible for administrative tasks) Alev is hopeful, “Thanks to coming to Norway, I can at last focus almost only on the sport itself and I hope that with the support I have behind me, I can show some results in the 2021 WC and the 2022 Olympics.”
Dagcoin and Alev crossed paths or, more appropriately, skis, in the spring of 2020, when Nils Grossberg, the owner of the company, saw that despite the poor state of Estonian skiing, Alvar Johannes hadn’t let his wish to ski and dream of making it to the Olympics fade.
Therefore, it was decided to support the determined athlete for the following two seasons, without which, the skier admits, he’d only have been able to participate in the preseason training.
Alev is really making the most of this sponsorship, with training hours clocking in at nearly a hundred a month and competitions every weekend.
“I’m not complaining, but living in the moment and being happy that I still get to ski today,” says Alev, currently a student of Physical Education and Sport at the University of Tartu, who has also previously studied and skied in the USA.
“In light of the current situation, I can see an opportunity to rebuild the skiing field in Estonia. Of course, athletes themselves will have to show good results but they still can’t do it alone. If, in addition to the physical and mental preparations, you have to take care of the administrative tasks, then inevitably, in a field where every hundredth of a second counts, your results suffer,” Alev says, explaining why support for athletes is so important.
On our part, we wish Alvar Johannes success in and determination for the upcoming and following seasons and we hope that the best in Estonian skiing is yet to come!
Alvar Johannes Alev is an Estonian champion in both the 15 km freestyle and the 15 km + 15 km skiathlon. Additionally, he has placed 2nd in the 20 km mass start freestyle of the esteemed North-American students’ NCAA Championships.
He has won the Balkan and Slavic Cups in, respectively, 10 km and 15 km Classical, and 10 km freestyle events. His results also include an 11th place in the Scandinavian Cup classical-style sprint and a 20th place in the FIS Junior World Ski Championships 10 km freestyle event in Liberec.
He has been a member of different Estonian teams since 2012. He has taken part in the Lahti WC and represented Estonia on several occasions in both the Junior and U23 Championships.