Bjørgen fikk AIPS-trofe

Marit Bjørgen ble stemt fram som årets kvinnelige idrettsutøver av det internasjonale sportsjournalistforbundet AIPS for 2011. I Holmenkollen fikk hun beviset.
Marit Bjørgen med AIPS-trofeet i Holmenkollen. FOTO: ERLEND AAS, SCANPIX

Rett etter at hun hadde vunnet årets tremil i Holmenkollen, ble hun igjen hyllet av publikum da Bjørgen mottok trofeet som beviser at hun var årets kvinnelige idrettsutøver i verden for 2011. En stor æresbevisning som sjelden kommer norske utøvere til del.

- Dette er nok det største jeg har vunnet. Å bli kåret til nummer en i verden, uansett idrett, er veldig spesielt, sier hun.

Det var formannen i AIPS skikommisjon, tidligere VG-journalist Rolf Arne Odiin, som delte ut prisen i Holmenkollen.

Av de totalt 3240 stemmene, fikk hun 576, og vant foran den kenyanske langdistanseløperen Vivian Cheruyoit (566) og den italienske svømmeren Pellegrini Fredrica (448).


Her er omtalen hun fikk på AIPS hjemmeside:

HOLMENKOLLEN, Norway, March 12, 2012 - Only half an hour after she had won yet another battle against her everlasting opponent  Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, Marit Bjørgen entered the Holmenkollen arena in a cascade of smoke, lightening colors and heavy rock music.

Entering the top of the podium for the second time Sunday, the AIPS Best Female Athlete of the Year 2011 was unable to fight back tears of happiness.

"This is a great moment, one that I will never forget," Marit said with a huge smile.

"I have won a lot of prizes during my years as a top athlete, however nothing can be compared with this. Being voted the best by sports journalists from 82 countries in the world says a lot.  And these people really know what they are deciding because this is their profession.

"It is really special that I won this prize in a year without Olympic competitions where there is often more possibility for athletes in minor sports, especially from the winter federations to be recognised.

"The trophy will take centre place in my home. It means something quite special for me," the likeable 31-year-old said.

Marit Bjørgen was voted AIPS female Athlete of the Year 2011 after her four gold medals and one silver out of a possible five during the Ski World Championship in Oslo, March 2011. She received 576 votes and wonthe accolade ahead of Kenyan long distance runner Vivian Cheruyoit (566) and Italian swimming star Pellegrini Fredrica ((448) out of a total 3240 votes cast.

On her current campaign to win the Cross Country World Cup, Marit Bjørgen used the occasion of the 30 km  race this weekend to give "the performance of the year",  taking the lead with a constant rigorous tempo, outrunning  the rest of the field from halfway in the race and finishing all smiles. The victory was her 54th World Cup win and equalized the number of wins achieved by Austria's alpine ski legend Herman Maier.

The next goal in her sights is to beat Swiss alpine skier Vreni Schneider who stopped on 55. At the top of the list is Austria's Annemarie Moser Proell(72), Ingmar Stenmark of Sweden (86) and Norwegian biathlon champion Ole Einar Bjørndalen, 94. 

Marit Bjørgen does to have any plans to retire. The Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014 are her main goal now. And the question still reamins: "Why has Marit Bjørgen not yet won the annual Tour de Ski