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VG Interview – 2008

Always together

Beijing (VG) Katja Nyberg and Gro Hammerseng is practically never apart. But the Norwegian handball couple haven’t become an international “love story” when they’re facing China today.

They share everything, both in work and private. Nyberg and Hammerseng share a room in the Olympic village and spends more time together than the average couple.

A huge fuss was created eight years ago when Mia Hundvin and Camilla Andersen got married one month before Norway met Denmark in the Olympic opening match. The world’s biggest sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, printed the love story across four pages and in 3,5 million copies.

– Gro is the spokesperson
– We have only received one request from abroad. It was from a lesbian magazine. They got the same answer as everyone else: we’re happy to talk about handball, but not our private life. I haven’t heard from them again, says Gro Hammerseng.

– I think it’s a sign that during the past eight years something has happened with the perception of gay couples. But it can also have something to do with the way we’re handling it, she says.

Katja Nyberg agrees, but adds: – We have been together for almost three years, and still I’m sometimes mentioned as Hammerseng’s girlfriend. It’s an over focus I feel is being made by people who have spent a few years in a cave.

In the Norwegian Olympic guide Hammerseng and Nyberg is presented as co-habitants. In the Sydney Olympics the IOC-president at that time, Juan Antonio Samaranch (88), personally saw to it that the information about the gay marriage Hundvin/Andersen was removed.

Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg don’t usually do interviews together. When the French newspaper L’Equipe during the WC last year asked for an interview, they made an exception. But only Hammerseng was quoted. – She’s the spokes person, says Nyberg.

– Ikast-keeper Valerie Nicholas knew the journalist and his fascination with Katja’s play. That was a crucial part, says hammerseng.

Injury free
The duo has also invited Norwegian press home for coffee, but the limits were agreed upon beforehand. At Gro’s, Katja’s and the golden retriever Pontus’ villa in Danish Ikast, “at home with”-type interviews are not going to happen. They also never let tabloids interview them.
Robbie Williams is actually the most pushy person who has gotten the furthest. Hammerseng was completely taken aback when the British popstar took charge and questioned her about her relationship one Friday evening on NRK in 2005.

– I was completely unprepared. He looked me deep in the eyes and asked me directly. And it was in English. I got completely (svett) nervous (svett=sweat), she describes.

They have both sweat a lot on the road to Saturday’s Olympic opening match against China. The injuries have almost been a continuous threat. When the couple were injury free last year, they contemplated tieing themselves to the sofa at home, and just wait for the Olympics to start.
– But it would have been sad to come here with butts hanging and no muscle, says Gro. Instead they have put in a big effort with preventing injuries. Nyberg is now completely free from the back problems that came back in July.
– It feels fine. I can do every movement without feeling anything, she says.
Hammerseng has been injury free for the past year.
– Olympics is the biggest thing you can experience as a handball player. Everyone says so. I’m looking forward to it, but I know it will be tough when the matches start.

So far the harmony reigns in the Norwegian troop. For over two years Gro and Katja have functioned as a couple in the Norwegian team.
– But we’re a team and there are several players I have a close relationship with here. I have played NT handball with Karo since we were youngsters, and profit from that just as much, feels Gro Hammerseng.

The ties between Hammerseng and Nyberg are strong. But they’re not very alike. Blonde Gro and darkhaired Katja are as different as they look.
A few days ago, Gro bought a yellow vase on the Chinese wall and showed it to Katja, who wasn’t very interested.

We’re fine as long as she gets to decide about the TV, the car, and I don’t by anything pink, Hammerseng bursts out laughing.

Facts
Katja Nyberg
Born: 24. August 1979 in Stockholm
Hight: 183 cm
Status: Lives with Gro
Club: Ikast
Hobbies: Dog Pontus and his friends
Favourite music: A Little Boy
Favourite books: Crime books (?)
Favourite food: Grandma’s meatballs
Biggest moment in sports: EC gold in 2004
Sports idols: Michael Jordan, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Ronaldinho
Language: Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, English

Facts
Gro Hammerseng
Born: 10 April 1980
Status: Lives with Katja
Club: Ikast
Hobbies: Dog Pontus, being with friends and family
Favourite music: A Little Boy
Favourite movies: Danish drama
Favourite books: Different genres
Favourite food: Homemade hamburgers
Biggest moment in sports: EC gold in 2004
Sports idol: Many
Language: Norwegian, English

 
Copyright VG
Translated by Kiniko


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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    So when are they going to get an offer from Playboy?

  2. 2lesbosgoinatit says:

    Hey – don’t say that. They look so sweet and innocent. Let’s just leave it that way.

  3. MainSports says:

    […] stars or football players! Then you too can world famous! If you liked this post then you may like this one […]

  4. Anonymous says:

    The third picture down is actually a photoshopped picture, Katja and Gro weren’t hugging. The person that was originally in between them was photoshopped out.

    This is the original photo http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/3629/gh315wz6.jpg

  5. […] “girly” hobbies like antique collecting. While there are also positive stories like Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg the gold medal winning lesbian Norwegian handball couple, that’s not exactly the dominant […]

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