How I controlled the nerves and saved my performance!

This week, I had a challenging experience. I’m rarely nervous, but on Wednesday I had a volcano inside. I was so afraid to mess it up! The result could have been a shaking voice, stuttering or forgetting my speech. Fortunately, sprezzatura saved me again!

The Smell of Sawdust!

We have an old Norwegian saying – when an old circus horse smells the sawdust! This was how I felt this week. From 2003-2015, I worked a lot with sports politics. Then in June 2016, I was invited to the meeting concerning More female leaders in sports.

This week, I was invited to give a speech at the Ministry of Culture and Sports. I was honored and humble to be invited on this debate together with some highly experienced and great people from the Norwegian world of sports.

I was confident, when it came to my opinions and experience. Still, I didn’t want to appear as an old squeaking horn, sharing yesterdays news. I had to prepare well!

The panel debate! From the livestream on

Preparations Are Crucial! Presenting Is Everything!

The topic was the Norwegian sports model in a new era. I studied and wrote down trends of the society, disruption, innovation, generation Z etc. I got valuable input from and aligned with the top management of the Norwegian Snowboard Association. I read different chronicles and reports. I chose a strategy and a few key messages.

I wrote the whole speech, made speaking points and the speaking cards. I practiced at home and felt ready!

The Taxi Panic!

If you follow my SnapChat, you will know that I had a panic attack in the taxi. What if I got questions, I couldn’t answer? What if I forgot my words? What if, what if? My brain and nerves were playing me a trick!

But I had trick in my sleeve. It’s called Sprezzatura! Let me tell you how it works!

Add me on SnapChat «ceciliaflatum»!

The Sprezzatura Trick!

I learned the Sprezzatura trick from two of my best friends. For years, it has been my secret tool to master stressful situations.

Sprezzatura means «a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it». (Source: wikipedia)

Sprezzatura saved my day!

This is what I do:

  1. I take several slow, deep and long breaths
  2. Breathing out I say «sprezzatura» to myself
  3. I image the situation, where I do the speech. I image being relaxed and cool
  4. I can feel stress and anxiety leave my body and mind
  5. I enter some kind of performance mode, almost like an actress.
  6. I feel ready to perform. Bring anything on!

Over the years, the word sprezzatura brings on this performance state-of-mind easily. It’s like I have tricked the brain. I can easily hide how I really feel, what I think, behind a confident and controlled mask.

I believe you can use any word. But you must use the same word every time, in order to bring out this state-of-mind! But I really like the sound of my secret word!

Happy that it’s all over, and that sprezzatura saved my day!

Have a great Sunday!

Sprezzatura love,


PS – Remember to add ceciliaflatum on SnapChat. Every week, I share some stories with tips and tricks to master leadership and life!


Work-life balance? Yeah, right!

People often ask me: How do manage your work-life balance? Truth is! A work-life balance on a daily or even a weekly basis? Forget about it! It’s not possible, when you choose career and kids. If I struggle to achieve it, I would stress me even more!

Work-life balance is a true balancing act!

What is work-life balance?

I turned to Wikipedia for a definition. Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between «work» (career and ambition) and «lifestyle» (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.

My work-life balance trick!

So, it’s not possible to meet a work-life balance on a daily or weekly basis. My goal is to balance my life like this:

Skjermbilde 2016-10-01 kl. 21.46.30

If I look back on my last week, it looked like the wheel on the left. Fortunately, the next week will look like the wheel on the right.

Skjermbilde 2016-10-02 kl. 21.26.13

My trick is to not be to strict on myself, but to make sure that I dare to make some choices every week.

For me, the important is to have a work-life balance over time and try to follow a set of «rules».

  1. Weekends! I got a great advice from a colleague at work, a mother of three. The weeks are super busy. Weekends are dedicated to family time! Few plans, just the family of four hanging out at home or going on trips.
  2. The flexibility of being a management consultant! Many believe that being a partner in a global managing consulting firm and a mother of toddlers make it impossible to have any kind of work-life balance. Since I work on projects, there are periods, when I have less client work. Then I must be cynical and use the flexibility. Take some shorter days, take a long weekend, work from my home office or a snowy mountain. Thank god for WiFi and Skype!
  3. Don’t be online all the time! I try to not be online all the time. No one expects you to answer e-mail instantly. If it’s urgent, I expect people to call. You should also think about, how you structure your day. Check out my blog post about the magic hours!
  4. Make some sacrifices! I cannot have it all. Sorry friends, I’m afraid that I don’t see you guys too much these days. Alexander and I have little time, just the two of us. My parents in law bought a cinema gift card for Christmas. We still haven’t used it. Maybe Jason Bourne will the movie to see sometime this autumn!
  5. Have a fun passion project! Well, this one is easy, but it’s hard prioritize it. It used to be my volunteer political work for the Norwegian Snowboard Association. These days, it’s this blog ;).
It’s never too late (or too early) to try on a new balancing act!

What Can You Do?

  • Draw your own work-life balance wheels. Your goal balance and the weekly real balance over a period of a month.
  • Compare your life wheel? Are there big gaps?
  • Make a list of what brings energy to your life and what drains your energy.
  • Take some time to reflect.
  • Do you have enough energy sources, can you enhance some or create some new? How can you remove or reduce energy drains?
  • How can you close the gaps? Write down some specific action points. Who can help you? Your partner, your boss, your colleagues? I advice you to be open about your planned changes. Still, remember this:

If you want to meet the person who will change your life? Take a look in the mirror!

  • Remember, this is not a quick fix. You will have strict on yourself to escape the habit loop. A study shows that you will need more than 65 days to change habits.

This was my story. Over to you, dear reader! What’s your best advice for work-life balance? Please share it!

Balanced wishes for a great week! I look forward to some work days and the a long weekend up in the mountain.

Cecilia 🙂

PS – Follow my SnapChat ceciliaflatum


3 Reasons Why Multitasking Will Ruin Your Life!

I have a confession to make. I’m the worst multitasking person I know! Seriously multitasking!

In many meetings, I work on tasks or sort out my e-mails. When I walk with boys in the stroller to kindergarten, I attend Skype meetings (on mute), reply e-mails and sing children songs. All at the same time! If we watch a movie at home, I will write a blog post or check social media at the same time! No wonder my head feels overloaded!

Today, I read that multitasking can damage your brain. Okay, miss multi-tasking! Time to pull the plug! I must stop! Our brain isn’t made for multitasking! It’s not working well!


Why Do I Multitask?

First, human multi-tasking is not the same as switching between tasks. The latter is very inefficient and will definitely wear you out.

Multitasking is different! This is doing or focusing on more than one thing at the same time. Situations, like I shared in my introduction.

I multitask, because I have a lot a stuff that must get done. Meetings fill up my calendar. I have little time to work at my desk. So in order, not to work all evening, I try to get e-mails and «easy» tasks done all the time.

I have a strong belief that I have very good multitasking skills. I can listen to a presentation, write an e-mail and still be active in discussions.

My problem is, it has has come out of hand. After the twins were born, I have continued to multitask also at home. Working, blogging and family life have become a big smear!

Always online is a brain drain!

3 reasons Why Multitasking Is Bad For Me And You!

  1. Your brain needs a break! – My brain doesn’t ever get time to relax. I can actually feel that multitasking drains my energy. Even worse, research shows that multitaskers pay a mental price! The modern world is very bad news for our brains. They get overstimulated and a mental fog clouds our lives!
  2. Is it really the answer to get things done? No. My experience is that you might be very productive, but in the long run, you’re not. We try to squeeze more and more into our workday. We try to work more and more efficiently, in order to stay on top of things. Instead, what we should do is say no, say later or delegate more. Set your own boundaries!
  3. People find you arrogant – My family, my boys and colleagues deserve my full attention. Multitasking is a very selfish activity. I would recommend to stay focused. Instead, you  should work differently, like cutting down on the length of meetings!

Recently, I have started to leave my multi-tasking life! Stay tuned for the next blog post, and I will share:

  • What I do!
  • The benefits!

Have a great Thursday!

Focused regards,

Cecilia 🙂

PS – follow my SnapChat ceciliaflatum


Happy Birthday, Blog!

It’s a fact! Time flies! This Leadership & Life blog has been live for one year! One year ago, I was living the happy aloha life on Maui. It was family time, yoga, windsurf and blogging 24/7.

I remember, the evening I shared my first post. It felt like drinking a mixture of the sweetest berries and tabasco! Sharing thoughts and experiences is a funny-scary feeling!

Today, 365 days later, it’s time for a celebration for this little one year old.

Photo: Stian Schioldborg
117 blog posts in one year! Photo: Stian Schioldborg


My reason for starting this blog, was that I wanted to share some experiences and advices to people enjoying the spring of their careers. It soon became clear to me, that I also wrote to people who are searching for more or struggling with their motivation.

In addition, I wanted to share travel advices to the active family.

The family of four exploring Maui!

Seriously, it’s possible to have a career and time for both family and yourself.

When you lean in, be prepared for a punch or a lot of new insight and relations! I have received both. To my surprise, writing has been an energy well for myself. I have had to face challenges and develop myself in many areas!

The Stats!

  • 56.000 page views
  • 25.000 readers
  • 5.000 followers in social media
  • 117 blog posts
  • 65 % Norwegian readers, then a lot of Americans and Russians

The most popular blog posts

My battle between motherhood and career

Is life over at 40?

How to survive 26h on a plane with infant twins

My Most Embarrassing Picture!

Going down, after being hit by my own! surfboard! I had a blue eye for weeks!

The Blog Series

How to improve your self as a leader?

8 steps to become super efficient and have more time for fun!

My Most Fun Blog Moment!

Cruising Iceland with these two professional bloggers, and

My biggest surprise!

Being selected to be a part of the TEDx Be the change program!

From TEDx Oslo 2016

Highest pulse moment!

Ready for the morning national news!

My biggest THANK YOU!!!!

Finally! When we pop a bottle of champagne in casa Froeya tonight, we’re toasting for all 25.000 of you!!

Getting feedback, a comment, an e-mail, a message, sharing your story, your question, your advice or your inspiration! That’s my vitamin pill and my reason to keep on going! <3

That’s you guys giving me a high five!


Thanks to United Influencers for having me on their team!

And thanks to Alex and my twin boys, for hanging in here with me! My boys! Priority no. 1! <3<3<3

What’s next for Leadership & Life?

I always have a lot of ideas. Only half of them are realized, but that’s good enough for this working twin mom.

I will continue to write every week. In addition, these days, I have fun with my Snapchat, username ceciliaflatum.


Somewhere down the road, there are some plans about a YouTube channel. And then I have my secret TEDx Be the Change plan. I hope to bring it to life over the next 12 months!


Love you all! Have a fantastic weekend! And please share, if there is a topic that you want me to write about! I would ever so grateful!

Cecilia :*

Time for a celebration!

Do You Know The Secret Magic Hours!

How are you structuring your day? Jumping from one task to another? Constant interruptions and constantly checking your e-mails or Facebook? Recently, I discovered the magic hours. I thought I was efficient, but magic has just happened!

My Inspirational Morning

The first change I did was stopping to check e-mails as soon I woke up! For some reason, I felt that I had to be on top of my workday from 6 am. Do you? Now, I’m trying to enjoy the morning hours. Listen to some good music, an inspirational video or maybe read a few pages in a book!

201608_Morning routine-2

The Magic Hours That Will Boost Your Productivity!

Mr Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and bestselling author, is the man behind the magic. He has shared six secrets to managing your time. His research shows that you are at your most productive are a couple of hours after you wake up.

Magic hours
The Magic Hours before lunch. Source:

My Tuesday Magic!

Very often, my days are packed with meetings. I mean packed! From 8am-17pm+! Today was different. My first meeting was at noon. Yeah! With the magic hours in mind, I made the most out my morning!

I dropped the boys off at kindergarten before 9 am. Then I had some incredible productive hours from 9am-12pm. This was GTD philosophy in action. GTD? – Get Things Done!

I checked my e-mails, then I shut down Outlook. Then, I was on fire! For three hours, I felt like producing a week of work! A day rhythm to copy! But this is not easy. I’m not completely in charge of my calendar.

Still, I can always do something. I will make an effort! Twice a week, I will try to make space in my calendar to make the most out the magic hours before noon.

And this afternoon, I did finalized my workday in an unusual way! Check out my Snapchat – username ceciliaflatum – to know the secret out what I did! 😉 Do it now! In a few hours, my snap story will be gone!

Have terrific week!

Cecilia :*


PS – Who to follow Snapchat business – add ceciliaflatum


Why Did I Kiss A Duck On Snapchat?

Social media has created a jungle for the business world, both established companies and upcoming entrepreneurs. Some master it perfectly! For many it’s a struggle, and they get lost! Let’s talk about Snapchat!

For months, I planned to start sharing blog snapchats, but I didn’t dare to do it! This week, I did!

5 Business Snapchat Experts That Inspires Me!

I didn’t get Snapchat in a more professional way, until I saw United Influencers CEO Thomas Moen‘s snaps. He gives great marketing and social media tips! In addition, he shares stories from his journeys and interacts with his followers. Username tornsuits


Second, I like to watch the Classy career girl snapchats. Anna Runyan is sharing good vibes and advice about loving your work and loving your life. A true inspiration! Username classycareer


Third, I have tell you about John Lee Dumas! This is mr Entrepreneur on fire on Snapchat. He looks you straight into your eyes and shares motivational thoughts every day. Join his fire nation! A must follow for any entrepreneur! Username johnleedumas


Fourth, IG – Motivation_Mondays shares nothing but a black screen and inspirational quotes! Username mikeyfromthe6


Finally. Recently, I discovered investor and entrepreneur Tai Lopez on Snapchat. He is famous for 67 steps. I don’t know how many SC followers he has, but with 505.000 followers on Instragram, I guess he got a few on Snapchat, as well. Tai shares coaching advice and a lot from his life. Username tailopez


My Snapchat Concept

First, I decided to not take it so seriously! Be creative and play with it! Maybe, I make some silly snaps. Who cares?!


Second, I make a snap story about a topic, that inspires me that day! I share a business tip or a behind the scenes view. Like the other day, when I joined the TEDx coaching session. Normally, it’s quite short, 4-5 snaps.

Third, I watch other snappers to learn more about how I can use filters and others effects in a cool way!

Finally, most important! I have fun! 😀

This weekend, I kissed a duck on snapchat! I shared my secret tip about going Duck Style! It’s been on for 24 hours and now it’s all gone. I will share it again on my blog this week.


For more, add ceciliaflatum!

Happy snapping!

And please share below, if you have any Snapchat favorites!!!

All the best,

Cecilia :*


This Morning Routine Will Change Your Day!

What’s the very first thing you do in the morning? Snooze? Check e-mails? Check Facebook? Take a shower? Check Facebook, again? Your morning habits affect your whole day, for better or worse!

By coincidence, I was inspired to change my morning routine. I watched a Facebook live, by Gry Sinding, where she talked about why she read 30 minutes every morning. I read an article in the newspaper, where five leaders shared their morning routine. I’m reading the book, I’ll tell you my secret, by the eccentric billionaire Petter Stordalen, where he shares his morning routine. Different stories, different routines, but they inspired me to think about my own morning routine.

Are You, Like Me, Addicted To Check E-mails?

A poll done by emarketer, shows that almost everyone checks messages as a part of their morning routine. Nearly 50 % of the respondents had checked Facebook. I fit perfectly in to these findings. Sleeping with my iPhone on my nightstand, I have been checking different social medias and doing some e-mails, even before getting out of bed. What an inspiring way to wake up my creative brain cells? Not!

Time For A Change!

I decided to try something new. Many advised me to have the same morning routine, every day. Sorry, I can’t do it! The reason is my two beautiful toddlers. Every second day, we have a fixed morning routine together.

So I decided to change my morning routine, the other every second day, when their father take them down for breakfast and getting them ready for kindergarten. I decided to make some small changes, that I could stick to.

10 Minutes of Mind Blowing Inspiration!

This is what I have been doing. I give myself a ten minutes of motivation and inspiration, before getting out of bed.

  • I find a short motivational video on YouTube. Below I share one, that I listened to the other day.
  • I use the TED app and find a TED talk about an interesting topic. It can be leadership or something completely different.
  • I read a book for ten minutes. For a long time, I’ve used the Storyteller app, but I have started reading again. As I wrote above, I’m now reading the fascinating story about mr Stordalen has been running his business. It’s perfect for a short morning inspiration. Short chapters with inspirational stories.
201608_Morning routine
A new morning routine will make a big difference for your day!

After a shower, I go downstairs and join my family for breakfast. Already at this stage, I can feel my brain being more active and enthusiastic!

Previously, when I read e-mails, I started thinking about all kind of details and things I had to do. A real creativity killer!

The brain absorbs my morning inspiration like a sponge! When I leave our house, I feel lighter and more energetic for a great day at work.

Finally, on the bus I do my first quick e-mail session!

Try it out and share your experience!

Have a great day!

Cecilia 🙂

PS – Stay tuned for my next blog post. I will share the secrets about the magic hours! Register your e-mail below!


Me – The Career Mother Who Never Picks Up At Kindergarten? HELP!

Last Tuesday, I was sitting alone in my office at home. I felt worried and indisposed. I tried to focus on work, but I couldn’t concentrate. I felt a undefined pain in my stomach. I was only thinking about the most important in my life.

How were they doing? Where they having a good time? Did they think about me? Did they miss me? I was, for sure, missing them. My feelings were out of control! It felt like I was experiencing  a break-up!

I wasn’t recovering from a break-up! I was twin mom, recovering from a kindergarten start-up!

Our new life!

Vacation has coming to an end. We’re thrown into a completely new daily routine. The boys have started kindergarten. And they absolutely love it! They have many new friends and learn so much new. Every day must feel like an adventure!

Still, I feel anxious and afraid. These questions are circling around in my head:

Will I become the career mother, who never picks up her boys at kindergarten, after work or if they get sick? 

Will I become the career mother, who doesn’t have time to take the boys to birthday parties or attend happenings at the kindergarten?

Will I become the career mother, who serve bought cakes at the boys’  birthday party? 😉

Winnie the Pooh and I said: Both!

Last October, I returned to work after being home with my twin boys for one year. I had a battle inside me, which I’ve been fighting ever since. The battle between motherhood and career. I decided to choose both.

Check out my most popular blog post here!

Skjermbilde 2015-11-12 kl. 10.57.37
Autumn – one year ago!

Overall, I feel that I’ve been doing okay the last 10 months. It has been a weekly and daily juggle. But Alexander and I have managed to plan and adjust to the best for the boys and our work. I have prioritized and made some sacrifices. There have been many long working nights. And there have been many times were I have left work early and said:

I have today´s most important meeting coming up. The meeting with my boys! 

Yet, two important factors was:

  1. A double cash benefit for parents with small children
  2. A private nanny

First Week! I’ve Failed, Big Time!

We have done like most other parents. Drop-off and pick-ups are shared and planned. I even bought a huge magnet week calendar to make sure we both keep control of family activities.

A new day, a new adventure!

So, how did I do the first week? Well, not very good!

Wednesday was my first pick-up day. My work day was super busy, and at noon I had to call Alex. – Help, can you pick up the boys?

Thursday! Yes, this was my second pick-up day. Shit! I had forgotten about a meeting! I had to call Alex, again. – Help, can you pick up the boys?

Friday! I promised to both drop-off and pick-up the boys.  If I was to the drop-off, I had to do at 7.30 am and Alex could do it at 9 am, so he did it! And finally, at 3.15 pm, I picked up my precious boys!

How Can I Improve?

This weekend, I’ve been thinking about, how I can improve our family schedule.

This is what I have done.

  • I have scheduled my drop-offs and pick-ups, blocking my Outlook calendar. (Still, this only means I have control of internal meeting bookings)
  • I have started preparing more the evening before. I’m «leaning» our morning routine!
  • I have started to ask colleagues, about how they make their daily routine work

But I really feel that this will be my biggest challenge! How to make my schedule fit!? What do I, when unplanned incidents occur.

Many have advised us to get an au pair. Still, we hesitate. We want to raise our boys ourselves, even though we’ve busy lives.

Dear readers! How do you make it work?

Have a great week!

Good night from

Cecilia 🙂

Cecilia and twins
Photo: Stian Schioldborg

5 Actions To Survive The First Work Week After Vacation

This Sunday had to come! The last day of a great vacation! I have enjoyed every minute of this Sunday. But Monday is coming my way at full speed! Fortunately, I’ve already been home a week. How about you? Do you have an open suitcase in the hallway, knowing it will stay there for at least a week.

There’s no way back! Duty calls!

Skjermbilde 2016-08-07 kl. 21.35.01

Whether you like it or not! Life is forced back to your every day rhythm. You must:

  • Go to bed earlier and set the alarm!
  • Drink less wine in the evening!
  • Get up early in morning (Hey! One of the advantages of having toddlers. I’ve been up before 7 am every day this summer) 😉
  • Iron shirts! (At least we office rats must!)

Luckily, I followed my own advice and finished off June in a controlled way. (Post – How to leave work at work!)

This is how I plan to survive my first week at work!


5 Actions To Survive The First Week At Work

1) A transition day or two! If possible, use the first day(s) as a transition period. Not everybody are back from vacation. It might be a possibility to take some shorter days. For me, and most other leaders, this means working a normal eight hours days.

2) No or few meetings! Having few meetings the first day give you time to get an overview and plan your work for the coming weeks! If you didn’t sort out your e-mails before your vacation, do it now!

3) Make a plan! Take a step back, review, prioritize, set some goals and make a plan for the autumn. I often use mind mapping, when I do this. Check my popular mind mapping blog post!

4) Don’t surf the internet or watch the Olympics! It’s easy to drift off and surf the internet for hours. Maybe you are curious on how it goes in Rio! Stop it. Do your work. Go home and watch the olympics from your couch!

5) Prolong the summer feeling! For us in Oslo, this is not so easy. Lately, it’s been raining like crazy! But if it’s sunny, where you are! Go for an afternoon swim in the sea, take a boat trip or go on a hike this weekend!

If you’re not planning for an autumn vacation, you’ve 4,5 months of work before your Christmas holiday. Make sure you get a good start!


I wish you a great Monday!

20151209 Cecilia_fk 200
I’m ready for my week at work! Photo: Stian Schioldborg

Cecilia 🙂

PS – Please register below for e-mails updates, when I post. I only post two times a week and will not spam you!


Skateboarders! You Have My Olympic Condolences!

Finally, it’s a fact! We’ll see skateboarding in the Olympic Summer Games! This week, the IOC announced that five new sports will be a part of the program in Tokyo 2020. Strong voices, like legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, have pushed for it. Others have worked fiercely against it!

History Repeating!

Once again, long-term trusted relations are the most important to gain political power. Once again, independent sports have been forced into traditional organizational structures. Once again, I claim, that agreements have made behind closed doors.

I smell trouble! Congratulations to the IOC! Skateboarders, you have my condolences!

I have followed this process for years. My interest and insight into international action sports politics come from more than a decade of political work within snowboarding, both on a national and international level.

Together with many other snowboarders, I have invested many hours to ensure international independence for snowboarding. A practically hopeless fight against two strong and related organizations, the IOC and the International Ski Federation (FIS).

The IOC – On A Mission To Connect With The Urban Youth

It has long been clear that the IOC must make the Olympic Games more attractive to the younger audience. A Bloomberg view article reported that London 2012 had a prime-time median age in the 50s. This must change, if not the interest and market value of the Olympic Games will decrease.

Urban sports, with a more youthful spirit, to attract younger audiences have been needed. In Beijing 2008 and London 2012, BMX was on the summer program. At the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014, freeski (several diciplines) and slopestyle for snowboard was on the program. Big air is on its way to Pyeongchang 2018.

In the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in China, skateboard was presented as a showcased sport, paving the way for Tokyo 2020.

Now we know, in four years, we’ll see both skateboard, surfing, sports climbing, baseball/softball, karate and surfing. Well done, IOC!

skateboarding on sunrise city

A 92 Year Old Governs And Owns Skateboarding!

Before London 2012, IOC looked into how skateboarding could be introduced. The answer was that the International Cycling Union should govern skateboarding. A skateboard goes on wheels.. Right? Do you follow? Me, neither..

Three international federations have been fighting to become the governing body for skateboarding. The International Skateboard Federation, the World Skateboard Federation and the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS). After a fierce a battle, the IOC found a more acceptable way.

FIRS, a federation with all the criteria and relations in place, won the battle. An easy and safe option for the IOC.

In the world of sports, old structures are paving the way. New progressive sports, longing the Olympic gold, are forced into ancient structures.

FIRS announces on its website – We made it! Image credit: FIRS,

Civil War I – The International One!

Instead of uniting all international skateboard federations (I have counted six) under one umbrella, trying to become the new recognized international federation, they started fighting each other. And it’s still going on. Two days ago, it was known that one skateboard association is actually suing its skateboard «rival».

The winner of the Olympic battle was announced earlier this year. FIRS was the winner. It started to boil under the skateboard. Then a smart move was made to silence the revolt.

A FIRS commission was proposed to oversee the skateboarding competition at 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s headed by Gary Ream, the CEO of the International Skateboard Federation. In addition, FIRS, World Skateboard Federation and an athlete representative are represented in the commission.

This might feel great! But really, what power does this commission really have? A comparison to snowboard would that, World Snowboard Tour president Reto Lamm should be heading the FIS snowboard committee.

Skateboarding is, for now, leading a commission on the operational floor. But we all know that the real power is on the political level.

If skateboarders really want to regain the control our their sport, they must get skateboarders into the FIRS executive board and FIRS congress. 

Civil War II – The National One!

The international cards have been dealt. FIRS is in charge. The next battle will be on the national level. All nations have a different organizational structure for sports and different levels of democracy.

What happens on the national level is just as important for a sport. I will explain this, by using an example from snowboarding.

In Norway, snowboarding is organized with its own federation with its own board with a direct line to the national sports federation. Lucky us! We are sidelined with the ski federation and get the financial support directly, both to national teams, national cup and grass root activities.

When the IOC gave the rights to snowboarding to the FIS in the late 90s, the national ski federations established their own snowboard organizations. Snowboard committees within the ski federations emerged. Many, who are still primarily focusing on the national teams and the Olympics. And they get all the governmental fundings.

The existing independent snowboard associations were pushed out into the cold. These snowboard associations often take care of the grass root, groom and rookie level. This is great! There is only a huge problem. They rarely get any governmental funding.

Some countries have only one snowboarding body within a ski federation, who deals with all levels of the sport. One good example is Switzerland, where it’s working fine.

In order to participate in the Olympic Summer Games, every nations must get their act together and include skateboard into the organized sport.

And again, every nation is different. In Norway, the National Organization for Skateboarding has been around for almost 40 years. They are independent and not, today, a member of the Norwegian Sports Federation. In order to be a part of Tokyo 2020, they must somehow become a member.

This week, the Norwegian national snowboard president stretched out a hand to the skateboarders, suggesting to establish a national board sports association. The idea is to create a new platform against the more traditional sports. One model of many.

Now, it really starts getting complicated. FIRS, the international governing body for skateboarding, already have a member federation in most countries. In Norway, it’s the Norwegian Skating Association. I don’t believe that the skateboarders want to be organized with speed skating, figure skating and roller skating. Or will FIRS allow membership from two national federations? If so, it would be a first timer.

I know, this is complicated! And this has been the reality for snowboarding since the 90s.

I really hope the national sports federations and national olympic committees work for one national skateboard association! Respect the existing skateboard association, before the existing national member of FIRS starts establishing a new one!

The Olympics Will Change Skateboard Forever!

Until now, commercial events like the X Games and the Street League Skateboarding have been the most important and pinnacle events. A mecca for skateboarders, sponsors and the TV producers. But I guess, that the nations with national teams have not been present. 😉

This will change. To be an olympian is a childhood dream for so many. Over the next four, eight, twelve years, I believe that young skateboarders (and at least their parents, their sponsors, national olympic committees and national coaches (yes, it will become more structured)) will dream about and chase the Olympic skateboarding podium.

Teenager hat seinen Kopf auf sein Skateboard gelegt

National teams, development plans, drug testing and daily work-outs at national olympic training facilities will be a fact for professional skateboarders. Just like it has become a daily life for professional snowboarders.

I guess that, this is painful to read, for a true skateboarding heart!

Will Tokyo 2020 Be A Success?

This depends on who you ask. The most important is that most of the best skateboarders participate, that the venue is good and that the judging is fair.

After  Sochi 2014, many snowboarders were shaking their heads because of the slopestyle judging, the halfpipe conditions and the fact that snowboard still governed by the FIS. But if I asked any IOC member, they were super proud about the success they had achieved together with the organizers in Sochi and the FIS.

The Olympics is about sports, but it a lot about money. A lot of money. The IOC channels a substantial part back to the nations and the sports. The nations get their share via the national olympic committee. The sports get a share via their international sports federations.

This is why the political power in the international federation is so important.

So, yes I believe skateboarding in Tokyo 2020 will be a success. We’ll see most of the best skateboarders there. Some might boycott. Others might not be able to participate because of the national quotas.

As long as Tokyo 2020 hires the best venue builders and experienced judgers they will be fine.

The skateboarders who enters the podium will be superheroes!

The recruitment to skateboarding will thrive. The same will the skateboarding industry. But you must be in the political driving seat of your sport to get the long term benefits of the Olympic Games! 

My Best Advice To The Skateboarding Community!

Okay, FIRS has it. Not much to do about it.

My biggest fear is that skateboarding will end up in a mess of conflicts like snowboarding. Several ongoing world tours and world championships, different judging systems, national independent federations without governmental support, events that cannot survive the four year olympic cycle, a confused audience and loss of sponsors. A terrible reality for the snowboarders today!

I don’t believe the Olympics will contribute to the creative development of skateboarding. It will make a hardcore sport. An acrobatic and structured sport! Look how halfpipe has changed on the last decade.

To the skateboarders! Don’t lose your creativity nor your values. True skateboarding will continue to develop, every day in the streets. Keep on skateboarding! Be creative! Stick to your values!

But you will need a professional political structure, in order not to get robbed, like snowboarding has been.

To you guys at the tops! Lean in and learn the game of sports politics, stick together and claim your political rights, on the international and national level! Skateboarders, the industry and nations must stand together!

International sports is all about money and power.

Money and power, that should be channeled back to the true grassroot of skateboarding!

The future is uncertain! But your choices and commitment of today define the future!

skateboard at sunset

Good luck,

Cecilia – going sideways, always! 

Cecilia Flatum was the president of the Norwegian Snowboard Association 2009-2015 (a board member/ vice chairman 2003-2007), and the Vice president of World Snowboard Federation (2012-2016)


(Photos in this post in bought from Fotolia)