Aksel Lund Svindal melts gold medal

Aksel Lund Svindal has melted down his first World Championship gold medal. The medal is being resurrected in three million small devices and is also helping to bring more Norwegians closer to skiing.

(Fornebu, 16 March 2016) Aksel Lund Svindal has melted down his first World Championship gold medal. The medal is being resurrected in three million small devices and is also helping to bring more Norwegians closer to skiing.

Aksel Lund Svindal recently melted down his first World Ski Championship gold medal that he won in the downhill competition in Åre in 2007.He melted the medal in partnership with Telenor.

‘My gold medal is a symbol of having been the fastest. Now there will be a speck of my first ever World Championship gold medal in each and every SIM card issued by Telenor. We’re doing this because both Telenor and I want to be the fastest - whether we’re talking about telecomms or alpine skiing,’ says Aksel Lund Svindal.

New monetary fund
As part of this partnership, Aksel is contributing his medal while Telenor is making a financial donation to the new fund being established by the skier and the telecomms firm.

‘The Aksel Fund aims to support initiatives that promote the enjoyment of the sport - something which I am passionate about. It might be clubs or associations that need equipment, schemes to get more kids skiing or helping kids and grown ups to get back on their feet after injury,’ says Lund Svindal.

This means that recipients of funds will include anyone from small ski clubs who need support for facilities or equipment, to operators facilitating activities for groups of young and vulnerable people.

Sunnaas Foundation first off the mark
The Sunnaas Foundation is the first recipient of a grant from the Aksel fund.

‘The Sunnaas Foundation is definitely a worthy recipient. The path from being a top-level athlete to being a patient is often a short one - something I know a lot about myself. I have also collaborated with the Sunnaas Foundation on a number of occasions as a motivator and know that they will put the money to good use,’ says Lund Svindal.

CEO Marianna Holth Dybwad is very grateful for the NOK 250,000 donation from the Aksel fund.

‘It means a lot that both Aksel Lund Svindal and Telenor recognise our efforts. The money will be used as part of the Camp Spinal project. The project uses sport as a means to achieve independence for patients who are paralysed as a result of serious spinal injury,’ says Holth Dybwad.

Faster on mobile
Bjørn Ivar Moen, head of the Mobile Division at Telenor, is very pleased about the partnership with Lund Svindal.

‘Alpine skiing has played an important and positive role in Aksel’s life. He therefore wanted to take this opportunity to give something back. Aksel and Telenor have very similar values, and the Aksel Fund is an initiative we are proud to be involved in,’ says Moen.

Moen says that Telenor is maintaining a high tempo in the expansion of its 4G network. ‘We are moving forward municipality-by-municipality, and by the end of 2017 we will have 4G coverage across our entire network. Once the goal of 4G on the whole network is achieved, Telenor will offer coverage to 99.8 per cent of the population,’ says Bjørn Ivar Moen.

A special medal
Lund Svindal says that the gold from the World Championship downhill competition in Åre is of special significance to him. Yet it is not the physical medal that matters most.

‘The initiative means so much more. Of course it would have been nice to see it in my trophy cabinet the next time I looked. Instead, the fund will symbolise the missing medal. That suits me fine. What we are going to do with the fund and the people we will help will be so much better than a mere medal,’ says Lund Svindal.

More information about the Aksel Fund:

Facts about the melting of the medal:

  • The 91 gram gold medal was pulverised into 120 million tiny particles.
  • Approx. 40 of these particles are present in each new SIM card issued by Telenor for use in mobiles, tablets and PCs.
  • A total of 3 million SIM cards will contain a tiny part of Aksel’s World Cup gold medal.

Facts about Aksel Lund Svindal:

  • 33 years old, from Kjeller.
  • Has won 11 championship medals, including 6 gold medals.
  • Won his first gold medal in the World Ski Championships downhill competition in Åre in 2007.
  • He holds the Norwegian record for most individual wins in the World Championship (32).
  • Winner of the overall World Championship in 2007 and 2009.