Cumbuco, Brazil, March 1, 2009 - Forty-year old Jørre Kjemperud said he is “still just a young guy” as the three-time Norwegian Beach Volleyball Olympian feels that “you are never older than in your mind.”
A regular on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour since 1995, Kjemperud said he is “still very motivated. I love my sport very much. But training at seven is hard. I have had some serious injuries, but I have kept to my self. I am like an old engine; if you don’t stop, it will run for many years.”
With the 2009 SWATCH FIVB World Championships presented by ConocoPhillips set for the end of June in his native Norway, Kjemperud will return for his 15th-season of international competition with a “new” partner after playing the past four seasons with Tarjei Skarlund. The US$1-million event will be held in Stavanger June 26-July 5.
“I will play with my old partner Hoidalen (Vegard),” said Kjemperud, who spent the off-season with his two sons before joining other Norwegian teams at the Brazilian training facility near Fortaleza. “We had good results together the last time we played. I think we can do the same in the world championships on our home court. Right now we are in our new volley project in Brazil. We built four Beach Volleyball courts and will be training with the Norwegian and Swiss elite.”
In addition to spending the off-season with his family and friends in Stavanger, Kjemperud has worked on the development of the Brazilian training facility for Norwegian youth. “This season, we’ll have more than 70 players use it,” Kjemperud noted. “I hope this will help Norway to keep the high international level also in the years to come.”
With the second most event participations (180) in FIVB Beach Volleyball history behind Brazilian Emanuel Rego (185), Kjemperud and Hoidalen played in the final 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in China.
Prior to Sanya stop last November, Kjemperud and Hoidalen’s last FIVB event together was the Athens 2004 Olympic Games where the Norwegian pair placed ninth after being eliminated by eventual gold medal winners Emanuel and Ricardo Santos in three sets.
Kjemperud and Hoidalen played in 113 FIVB events together to rank fourth all-time behind Joao Brenha/Miguel Maia of Portugal (134 events), the Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland (121) and John Child/Mark Heese of Canada (115).
Kjemperud and Hoidalen rank 16th in career FIVB earns ($525,210) as the pair posted nine podium placements and 13 “final four” finishes together. Kjemperud and Hoidalen have won 53.6 percent of their FIVB matches (253) with only four teams playing more matches since the start of the international tour in 1987.
Only three teams seeded in the lower fourth of a SWATCH FIVB World Tour event have captured a gold medal and Kjemperud and Hoidalen accomplished the feat in 1998 by winning a title at the Berlin stop as the 25th-seeeded team. Americans Dax Holdren/Todd Rogers (32nd, 2000 Mexico) and Mike Dodd/Mike Whitmarsh (26th, 1995 United States).
As for the SWATCH FIVB World Championships, Kjemperud and Hoidalen placed third at the 2001 events by winning six of seven matches in Klagenfurt, Austria. With a ninth at the 2003 event in Rio de Janeiro, Kjemperud and Hoidalen compiled a 9-6 match mark at four SWATCH FIVB World Championships.
“I have played quiet a few years now, and I’ve seen some changes yes,” said Kjemperud. ‘First of all, the sport is more serious with more coaches and more people around the teams. The biggest change in the game has been the reduction of the court size. I will say nothing about right or wrong with this, but it definitely changed the game for the smaller players.”
With podium placement the goal for this summer’s world championships, Kjemperud said “getting a medal is something that makes it all worth it! Then you forget all the pain from countless hours of training and your loss for being away from family and friends most of the year.”
As for the world championships being in Stavanger, Kjemperud said “it will be a great honor and a fantastic experience to play the worlds in the city I live! I hope we can play our best and show the Norwegian spectators the best level of volleyball!”
Kjemperud and Hoidalen have competed together in the first six SWATCH events held in Stavanger as the pair “pleased” the Norwegian Beach Volleyball followers with a 15-13 match mark. Kjemperud and Hoidalen placed ninth in the 1999, 2000 and 2003 Stavanger stops and were 17th in 2004.
To be competitive this season, Kjemperud said he and Hoidalen must “play on our absolute top level in all our games. We need the best serve we ever had on court. There are so many good teams out there these days and so many can get to the podium. Watch out for two old Warriors!”
As for making a bid for a fourth Olympic berth in 2012 in London, Kjemperud said he would “see how this season works out. Can we compete on a high level, why not?”