– It suits me very well. I want to live in Norrbotten – it is the most snow-safe part of Sweden and it is something completely different to be able to ride long distances with natural snow instead of training on artificial snow, says Eric Granström.
We meet him at a tough roller ski session at Lindbäcksstadion in Piteå together with some of the other students who also are cross-country skiers. Former national team captain Joakim Abrahamsson leads the university's elite sports activities in general, but is also a coach for cross-country skiing, biathlon and ski orienteering.
"One of Sweden's best coaches"
– "Jocke" is one of Sweden's best and most sought-after coaches and has knowledge and experience like no other. To be able to practise together with others gives good sparring and company on long passes, says Eric.
He is happy about the double admission decisions he received in the summer of 2020. He got accepted to the university's Master Programme in Computer Science and Engineering – "I have a genuine interest in computers, programming and technology" – and was also told that he was accepted as an elite sports student. That the Swedish Ski Association sees him as a potential national team skier was a real boost for the 20-year-old, who competes for Strömnäs GIF.
– Many say that they want to be the best, and of course that is how you think. But right now I strive to develop and in the long run to be able to have cross-country skiing as a job. Jocke is very helpful – I can see a real progression just in the short time I have had him as a coach. It will be very exciting to see what it gives in a few years.