World Athletics Championships 2019: Team Ingebrigtsen – not your average Norwegian family

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From Mike Henson
BBC Sport
Some moments from the Ingebrigtsen household video series are well known.
Before storming to gold when 17-year-old Jakob high-fived older brother Henrik there was the time midway through last summer m final in Berlins Olympic Stadium.
At 2017, their Filip – younger than Henrik and older than Jakob – collapsed over the lineup in Londons Olympic Stadium since he became the first European to win a planet medal in 14 decades.
Henrik dived full length at a valiant, dramatic, if unsuccessful, try to throw the silver trophy in the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow from Britains Chris OHare, together with Jakob taking victory once again.
Others are less well known.
Filmed over a decade before, a shaky camera shot opens with three Ingebrigtsen brothers in frame.
On the left, Henrik. On the best, Filip. In the middle, the oldest of the familys seven kids, Kristoffer.
Huddled round a table, the teens, wearing matching tracksuits, critique a new national childhood event in which Kristoffer finished eighth.
Let us hear how it went in Oslo. Lets begin with Kristoffer, states a voice off screen.
No, replies Kristoffer, glowering down the lens.
It was a good trip. You did not have any objectives that are major, did you? Did you? Says the voice.
No, no! Says Kristoffer, developing annoyed.
The voice asks the boys to outline their intentions.
And Kristoffer? Following his siblings have had their say it enquires.
We will try to not come last, interjects Henrik.
I wont come last! Yells Kristoffer, aiming a elbow into his brothers biceps.
Its a snapshot of European sports family dynastys construction.
The European 1500m title that Jakob obtained in 2018 in Berlin had been passed to him from Filip, who was successful in Amsterdam two years earlier. He in turn succeeded Henrik, who topped the podium.
All 3 head for the weeks World Championships in Doha, with Filip and Jakob serious contenders for 1500m medals and Henrik joining them.
Where this unexpected geyser of sporting achievement appeared from is clear.
Certainly, rising up in Sandnes, a small Norwegian town of around 75,000 facing out on to the North Seaand also the youthful Ingebrigtsens spirit was claustrophobic.
Kristoffer, Henrik together with the younger Jakob and Martin, could race each other getting in and outside of the vehicle, if they were not battling for supremacy on bikes at the pool or on the trail.
Their sister Ingrid, 13, is currently training as a athlete. William, for jogging shoes on his ultrasound scanning, jokingly measured up, is to start a sports profession, but is only five.
The family heritage of game that is professional is profound, though.
Their dad, Gjert – himself lifted in a single-parent household that is bad – is a logistics director. Tone, their mother, owns a set of hairdressing salons.
Im not particularly interested in sport, Gjert tells BBC Sport.
Were a normal family with a lot of kids. We spent a lot of time outdoors, skiing, hiking around, going to the mountains, cross-country skiing, exercising outdoors… but it is by coincidence. We never intended for anything.
That shifted.
Since his sons sport has become more serious, therefore has Gjert. Hes now also representative, manager and trainer, dictating their event schedule, commercial prices and gruelling coaching sessions.
It might be that I am fairly strict in how I see things, he reflects.
The boys come to me and say:I want to be a European winner. I say:I want to assist you, I can assist you, but you need to do everything I tell you
In case you dont, I cannot have part of it. My final objective is to see each of the kids succeed, to achieve their targets. I hit mine if they accomplish their goals.
I stand out from other parents. Im very demanding and it is a sort of contract between the boys to help them function as best they can be – but they have to endure me following them daily all year.
Jakob, Filip and Henrik have sold themselves entirely by entering in that bargain.
Filip recalls waking to do an hour of lactic-heavy roller ski – a version of cross-country skiing – until he headed to school.
Henrik remembers asking his father to establish sessions in the afternoons as well as the mornings. His father agreed, but told them to not inform teachers unless they grew concerned that he had been pushing them too hard.
Theres nothing covert about their commitment. Every September, Gjert produces a training program for the following 12 months, laminating it to stop any alterations. He will be trackside, barking orders and collating particulars of his sons improvement and retrieval in a spreadsheet.
Within a bid to tempt patrons to finance the brothers careers, Gjert defeated his sons reluctance and allowed television to shoot a reality show about them.
Team Ingebrigtsen catches the tensions that continue together with the single-minded grip on the lives of his family of Gjert.
In one awkward spectacle, Filip accuses him of running adictatorship as a trip to southern Europe with his girlfriend, whos sitting in the area, is quashed in favour of coaching.
In another, eldest kid Kristoffer – who would reject sports for a career in economics and a family life of his own – calls his own parentsidiotic for getting his eldest child, William, 25 years after his own birth.
I think they are doing so rather than going back and focusing on relationships with the children they already have, he adds caustically.
Gjert offers as good as he gets.
He looks down the barrel at the same stage and states:I really dont want to be an angry man, I want to be a dad.
But if an angry man will bring them their fantasies, Ill bear that forfeit.
Hes nowhere near the first sporting dad to intertwine his own success with that of his children.
Mary Pierce andre Agassi and the Williams sisters are some of the the tennis celebrities who were compelled to stardom by domineering dad figures, however there are rewards as well as dangers.
As fans of motorsport generally, and Lewis Hamilton particularly, Filip, Henrik and Jakob will know the story of the Formula 1 world champion Anthony, and his father.
His father was sacked by Hamilton as his agent after he had masterminded his climb to the surface. The pair barely talked for the next two years, but have gradually reconciled, with the driver offered in July as saying their relationship is that thebest we have ever had.
Would the ends of stellar sporting careers justify the mean dad act of Gjert?
Just how much of the impetus for his childrens sports comes from inside themselves and is conforming to the civilization of their family?
Theres absolutely not any simple answer. There is not any answer .
He could always be my father. You can not take off that hat and say now Im your trainer, says Filip. It is difficult, but I believe, all in all, it is much more positives than negatives. He provides more as a mentor because hes also a dad – that he constantly wants me to do my best and has my best interests in mind.
Jakobs take is somewhat different.
There are a number of ups and downs and advantages and positive about having a father as a coach., he states. For different athletes I would not suggest it because it is too much hard work and you want a father outside of conducting.
For now, and our entire lives, hes been a coach because we have asked ourselves what is the most important – do we really wish to have a family or do we would like to run fast?
Sons that run relationships that hold quickly. Gjert, who has recently written a book entitled How To Raise A World Champion, will expect both visions are realised in Doha. And outside.
The treasure iconic minutes
It throws to distance and cross country running or sprints and has one of the broadest ranges of choice in sport, from leaps.
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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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