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Wushu In Norway is still a small sport compared to the nation’s famous winter standouts of skiing, hockey and skating. However the Norwegian National Wushu Team coach, Kim Gibson, has both ambition and strategy to grow wushu sport and culture there.

Kim Gibson

kung fu kitchen Kim Gibson Nordic Food

In 2007 Kim Gibson established and ran Oslo’s first wushu club that practiced only internationally standardized wushu. (The Oslo Wushu Team also celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year.) He’s had various roles within the wushu committee of the Norwegian Martial Arts Federation, where he became competition director, hosting numerous successful national and international competitions.

Soon after having athletes from the Oslo Wushu Team on the National Team, Gibson was offered his first contract as National Wushu Team Coach in 2016 to further develop a new generation. Currently Gibson is working on establishing a strong team for next year’s European Wushu Championships.

Kim Gibson says, “Growing up in the Norwegian sports community is very special. We are one of the smallest countries in the world with only 5 million people, but still we’re the most-winning Olympic nation throughout history in the winter Games. Which means our people and audience have high demands for our athletes, which can cause a lot of stress.

“But at the same time, being such a small country we share everything. Meaning that at our National Olympic Training Centre – “Olympiatoppen” — National Wushu Team members may work out together with Olympic Champions in various sports.”

“We try to be quite hard on the kids in practice so that they’ll be prepared for the mentally tough experience it is to compete in wushu,” Gibson says. “Being a young wushu nation, it’s still a work in progress and we’ve both failed and learned throughout the years. Especially learning how to handle stress for younger athletes is a whole science itself. But we’ve come to the conclusion that tough training in the wushu gym and unconditional love and fun in the competition stadium have proved to be the best way to go on about it.”

Kung Fu Kitchen – Nordic Food

kung fu kitchen Kim Gibson Nordic Food

Like so many places in the world, kids in Norway like to eat burgers and fries. But some native food is ideal for training wushu in a cold climate like Scandinavia. Traditional Norwegian eats can be quite distinctive — ranging from the Christmas treat of Smalahove (a sheep’s head) to reindeer moss, cloudberries, fried cod tongues and dried elk. And perhaps most famously, Lutefisk – dried fish soaked in lye. (Yes, there was also an alternative rock band from LA in the 90s of the same name!)

For training wushu alongside Olympic athletes, Kim Gibson likes a protein-rich diet for modern sports muscle building. Here are 3 of his favorite Nordic food for fitness in his Kung Fu Kitchen:

Nordic Food #1 CHEESE! (probably the reason why I smile all the time)

kung fu kitchen Kim Gibson Nordic Food
Scandinavian waffles with Norwegian brown cheese, sour cream and cloudberries

First off, I just gotta say I’m probably the world’s biggest cheese fan. I can eat CHUNKS at a time, every single day. Norway has a quite well-known cheese called Jarlsberg that you can in stores all over the world, but my favorite is the lesser known Norvegia cheese. It’s high in fat of course, but due to the high percentage of protein I’ve found that it evens out and helps in building muscle. If you’re eating at the Olympic training centre in Norway you’ll probably find slices of whole wheat bread with Jarlsberg cheese and red peppers on them.

We also have our very own special cheese called “brown cheese” here in Norway; it has a really distinct taste being both sweet and somewhat bitter, and it’s perfect when you have it on a Scandinavian style waffle – top it off with some fresh berries from the Norwegian forest (and maybe even some sour cream) and you’re in food heaven! In most other countries you might find hot dogs or pizzas in your sports stadiums, but in Norway we love our waffles with brown cheese and jam at sports events.

Nordic Food #2 FISH – Norwegian Salmon Rules

kung fu kitchen Kim Gibson Nordic Food
Norwegian Salmon packs a protein punch

Coming from Norway, eating fish is compulsory. At least three times a week is what our health government tells us! It contains all the good fats we need as well as many other good nutrients. My personal favorite is our world famous Norwegian salmon, from the cold Norwegian Sea with the freshest of taste. I’m really scared of eating fish bones so salmon is the perfect choice as it is probably the easiest of all fishes to clean and debone.

When I prepare my salmon I love to roll it in flour and black pepper to make it crisp, and I cook it with the skin on it to make it extra crispy (I also love to eat that lovely crispy skin.) Add some lovely vegetables such as broccoli or cucumbers and you have a perfect and healthy mix, and here too – sour cream on top of that is the best.

Nordic Food #3 SKYR – A Scandinavian Secret

kung fu kitchen Kim Gibson Nordic Food
Ralf Roletschek [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Our Viking brothers from out in the Norwegian Sea in the fairy Island called Iceland have a fantastic little food invention called “skyr.” It can best be described as a dry type of yoghurt, and just like yoghurt you may find it in plain, natural taste but also in different flavors such as blueberry, green tea, peach etc. Unlike yoghurt it’s extremely high in protein, low in sugar and thus low in calories. It provides the perfect mix for anyone working out, but is also the ideal solution if you’re on a diet and need to lose weight.

At the moment Skyr may only be purchased in Iceland, Norway and now recently also Sweden, but such genius healthy food should spread world-wide in my opinion. At least my fridge is always stacked with Skyr and I know it’s the same case for most other Norwegian athletes too.

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