There's much more to Johannes Klaebo than Justin Bieber comparisons

Fame, fortune, A-list looks, online adoration, and three Olympic gold medals at 21 haven't distracted Klaebo from what really matters.

Johannes Hosflot Klaebo is Norway's Justin Bieber says CNN. CBC thinks he's more like Matt Damon, describing him as 'a precocious young talent who makes the world swoon' and a skier who makes 'cross country skiing sexy.'

'The Usain Bolt of cross country skiing' reads another headline.

A Youtube fan page video titled 'From Junior to Best in the World' includes this measured description of the Norwegian sensation:

'A collection of the man, the myth and the LORD OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo'

So why all the hype?

Three Olympic gold medals at 21, defending men's Crystal Globe champion and Sprint World Cup champion, and currently top of the 2018/19 world cup standings.

Klaebo may be cross-country skiing's poster boy, but all the success and screaming girls hasn't affected his performance.

Even before the gold medals and Olympic glory, Klaebo's Norwegian teammates could see a future leader in the making, 33-year-old veteran Martin Johnsrud Sundby called him an 'inspiration' and a 'great teacher for all the rest of us on the team' as far back as 2017.

Being Johannes, Vlogging Johannes, eating like Johannes

A prodigious cross country talent, his weekly YouTube Vlog gets 50-100,000 views and gives people a glimpse at the real Johannes.

And there is something very real about him.

The Vlog is produced by his brother and musician Ola, and shows that three Olympic gold medals at 21 seemingly haven't changed Johannes at all.

His boyband looks and winning mentality have made Klaebo cross-country's 'Golden Boy' and very attractive to sponsors.

He still works hard, trains harder, and eats like an Olympic champion.

Want to know what I had for dinner? Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, avocado, cucumber, and cod. What a dinner. - Johannes Klaebo

Family affair

Legend has it that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet and that's why they are so successful at winter sports.

The truth is that they put skis on almost as soon as they put shoes on.

Like most Norwegians, Johannes Klaebo was skiing from the age of two, his family helping him every single step of the way.

Johannes wouldn't be where he is today without the help of his family.

His brother Ola documents his daily life and produces the music for his Vlog, his mother helps him pack for tournaments and much much more, his father Haakon Klaebo is his manager, and the most influential person on his career is without doubt his grandfather Kare Hosflot.

Living in Norway’s third-largest city, Trondheim, the grandson and grandfather live about four miles apart, meeting every day in the training centre which nestles neatly between their two houses

Hosflot has trained his grandson from an early age and guided him to the world’s No.1 cross-country skier..

“My grandfather means everything to me,” Hoesflot Klaebo told the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten in 2016.

So legendary is their relationship in Norway that it even inspired a book entitled 'Johannes and Grandpa' written by Knut Georg Andresen.

"He's my trainer, he's my coach, he's my grandpa, and he's also my best friend... he is joining me on every training session and it's amazing to see how a 75-year-old man can just be with me all over the place." - Johannes Klaebo speaking about his grandfather to CNN

Johannes Klaebo's Girlfriend

Another stabilising presence in Johannes' life is his relationship with girlfriend Pernille Dosvik.

For a long time Johannes said he was too busy training for a girlfriend, but after PyeongChang he met Pernille and now has a very public relationship with her.

There was the time he gave her a car with a little help from Toyota, one of his sponsors, the few days off from training and competing that he gets to spend with her, the frank admission that "We are weird", and of course: They'll always have Paris.

Johannes Klaebo's second family

A solid family and a healthy relationship provide the bedrock for this ski phenom's success, but another big reason is the Norwegian team.

Norway won more medals than any other nation at PyeongChang 2018, including 14 gold, a stunning achievement for a country with just 5.3 million people.

So what's the secret? The Norwegian team tried to tell us in this video.

Johannes' answer to CNN is that "everyone inspires each other, back at the hotel we are friends, friends hanging around and just trying to compete with each other and having fun... it inspires you a lot and it's cool to take a part of it".

Success is contagious in the Norwegian camp, and Klaebo caught the bug.

Crucially, if he ever needs advice on growing a fine handlebar moustache, he can always go to Robert Johannson.

The secret of Norway's success

The secret of Norway's success

Future great?

The future holds no limits for Klaebo.

He's already on a path to greatness, already transcending cross-country ski, already an ambassador for the sport, for Norway and for the Olympics.

With his talent, solid grounding in family, and the support and friendship native to the Norwegian team, there's no telling what the 22-year-old can go on to achieve.

But Johannes is focused on what's now and what's next.

And what's next is becoming only the second cross-country skier in history to win a second overall World Cup title and Sprint World Cup double in a row.

The first was eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bjorn Daehlie.

Johannes Hosflot Klaebo is already in the same conversation as the greats.

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