Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway’s Skiing Superstar

Home » Sport in Norway » Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway’s Skiing Superstar

The Norwegian cross-country skier Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is a household name here in Norway. Let’s meet the man behind the advertising and eye-catching social media profiles.

Who comes to mind when you think of Norway’s most recognisable current sportsman? It’s likely one of the famous footballers playing in England, Erling Haaland, or Martin Ødegaard.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo skiing at a World Cup event in Switzerland in 2022. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / Shutterstock.com.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo skiing at a World Cup event in Switzerland in 2022. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / Shutterstock.com.

They are of course just as well known in Norway too. But famous cross-country skiers are among the most famous faces in Norway, not just in sport but in all of public life. Right now, there are few faces more recognisable than Johannes Høsflot Klæbo.

The skier has emerged as one of the most dominant figures in the sport's recent history. Klæbo’s impressive track record includes multiple Olympic gold medals and World Championship titles.

Known for his exceptional sprinting ability and tactical acumen, he made history by becoming the youngest male to win an Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Klæbo's innovative techniques, particularly his distinctive “Klæbo shuffle,” have revolutionized sprint skiing. His achievements reflect a blend of youthful energy, strategic thinking, and unparalleled skill, securing his status as one of the sport’s best.

If you live in Norway, Klæbo’s face will be familiar to you regardless of whether you’re a sports fan or not. The Norwegian is not only a talented sportsman, he is also a highly desired commodity in the world of advertising in his homeland.

Here is a breakdown of the 27-year-old’s achievements and most notable moments so far.

Klæbo’s Sporting Achievements

Klæbo’s impressive start to his cross-country skiing career includes many accolades. He was the youngest male ever to win the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, the Tour de Ski, a World Championship event, and an Olympic Cross-country skiing event.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo at World Cup event in 2022. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / Shutterstock.com.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo at World Cup event in 2022. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / Shutterstock.com.

On Klæbo’s Winter Olympics debut in 2018 in Pyeongchang, he won three gold medals: sprint event, 4 x 10 km relay, and the team sprint. At the age of just 21, the Norwegian finished level with French biathlete Martin Fourcade for the most gold medals at the Games.

In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Klæbo won the overall World Cup at the ages of 21 and 22 respectively. While the 2018–19 World Cup saw him win eight sprint victories, a record that saw him draw level with the Swede Emil Jönsson’s all-time sprint record in a single World Cup season.

In the 2019–2020 World Cup season, Klæbo etched his name in history as the all-time leading male sprinter in the World Cup, boasting the highest number of individual race wins.

Additionally, he set an unprecedented record by clinching his fourth overall sprint title, the most by any male athlete in the competition's annals. Presently, he stands unparalleled as the male competitor with the most overall race victories in the history of the World Cup.

At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Klæbo collected four medals, including two golds.

Natural Successor to Petter Northug

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is often mentioned in the same sentence as the retired Norwegian cross-country skier Petter Northug. Klæbo is seen as a natural successor to Northug, often considered the greatest ever cross-country skier, who retired in 2018.

Northug picked up a total of 13 World Championship medals and 20 Winter Olympic medals, which included two golds. Although he missed out on the latest Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Klæbo has the potential and drive to surpass the achievements of Northug. The youngster began his skiing career well and has gone from strength to strength. Barring any serious injuries, he could go on to become one of Norway’s all-time leading winter athletes.

Instagram and YouTube

Klæbo’s popularity hasn’t just come form his sporting exploits, the 22-year-old has also built up a big following on various social media platforms.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. Photo: Wikipedia (CC 4.0)

His followers and subscribers can learn about every aspect of Klæbo's life. On Instagram, Klæbo has more than 440,000 followers.

On his account you can find pictures from competitions, training sessions, some advertising posts, or just pictures from his everyday life.

There’s plenty of posts to keep his fans happy. That goes for fans of him as a sportsman and—given his photogenic nature—his more casual admirers too.

On his YouTube channel, Klæbo has a slightly smaller following, albeit still more than 100,000 subscribers. This is my favourite social media platform of his.

On the channel you can find a number of vlogs: behind the scenes footage of his training regimes, including some with his little brother Ola, videos of his life away from training and competing, and even random days out/weekends away with girlfriend.

Klæbo’s posts on YouTube are consistent, and each vlog post has views that range from 31k to 310k, with total views of all his YouTube content standing at over 12 million views.

All of his YouTube videos are in Norwegian with English subtitles, which makes them accessible to his ever-growing international audience.

Advertising and celebrity status in Norway

The Norwegian clearly has a visual appeal, his face can be seen in shop windows, on billboards, and in magazine advertisements across Norway. Klæbo is the face of Hufs, a Norwegian hair product.

The Norwegian skier Johannes Høsflot Klæbo on an advertising billboard.
Klæbo features on advertising throughout Norway.

Many will recognise the face of Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and here in Norway there are perhaps not many more recognisable faces than his.

His popularity he in his homeland is huge, but it remains to be seen if his can break into the European market.

The Future for Klæbo

The future is bright for the Norwegian skier, and as long as he can keep a level-headed approach to fame, his sporting future is a very exciting one.

He has certainly made an impressive start to his career and will continue to train hard to achieve greatness.

Although born in Oslo, Klæbo grew up in Trondheim and still lives there today. Klæbo is very close to his family and spends a lot of time with them, which doubtless helps keep him grounded.

His father, Haakon Klæbo, is his manager and his grandfather, Kåre Høsflot, is his coach.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo’s name should end up there with other great Norwegian winter athletes of years gone by: Petter Northug, Marit Bjørgen, and Ole Einar Bjørndalen. I will follow his progress with intrigue.

About Life in Norway

Sometimes, more than one person in the Life in Norway team works on a story. This was one of those times!

Norway Weekly Subscribe Banner

2 thoughts on “Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway’s Skiing Superstar”

  1. Nice article Mathew. I’ve lived in Tromsø, for 5 years and in that time learnt to ski so love watching how effortless the Norwegians make it look. Klæbo is in a different class of course and it’s great watching him take it to a higher level.


Leave a Comment