Jakob, Henrik and Filip Ingebrigtsen accuse father of violence

Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and his older brothers Henrik and Filip have accused their father and former coach Gjert of being “very aggressive and controlling”.

The three wrote a column for Norwegian website VG saying they “still feel discomfort and fear” about Gjert.

Gjert trained the trio until 2022, with Jakob winning gold at the Tokyo Games.

Via his lawyer, Gjert said the statement was “baseless” and he “never used violence against his children”.

Gjert’s lawyer John Christian Elden said no criminal charges have been brought against Gjert.

There are seven Ingebrigtsen children, with world 5,000m champion Jakob, Henrik and Filip all competing at Olympic level.

Gjert acted as his sons’ agent, manager and coach and the family also appeared on a Norwegian reality show called Team Ingebrigtsen.

In a piece entitled ‘This is Our Story’, the brothers said they had to tell their story due to intense media coverage in Norway about them splitting with Gjert as their coach.

They called it a “very serious and burdensome family situation” adding: “This matter has become so inflamed, and has had such great consequences, that we feel a responsibility to clean it up. We can only do that by telling our story.”

The three wrote they had “grown up with a father who has been very aggressive and controlling, and who has used physical violence and threats as part of his upbringing”.

“We still feel discomfort and fear, which has been in us since childhood,” they wrote.

“Somehow we have accepted this. We have lived with it, and in adulthood we have moved on. At least we thought so.

“But two years ago, the same aggression and physical punishment struck again. It was the drop that made the cup run over.”

The brothers said they now wanted to “return to the joy of playing sports and representing Norway”.

“Now we want peace to focus on training and competitions. We also want our competitors and running colleagues to be allowed to do that,” they added.

“But most of all, we want the family and everyone we love to be safe.”

In a statement from his lawyer, Gjert said: “That I have had weaknesses as a father, and have been too much of a coach, is a realisation I have also come to – albeit far too late.

“Our family has lived in the public spotlight for many years, and we have chosen to let the public into our lives through TV series, interviews and much more. That violence should have occurred in this public family life is unthinkable. The Norwegian people have seen our lives, for better or for worse.

“I am far from perfect as a father and husband, but I am not violent.

“This is a tragic situation for my family – that we have come to the point where we are spreading false accusations against each other in the media. It makes me deeply sad.”

Earlier this month, the Norwegian Athletics Federation said it would not grant Gjert accreditation as a coach in connection with next year’s World Athletics Indoor Championships and the European Athletics Championships.

In response to the brother’s VG column on Thursday, the governing body said: “In the time before the NFIF’s decision not to grant Gjert Ingebrigtsen accreditation as a coach for international championships, they have shared incidents related to him as the background for the breach.

“The Norwegian Athletics Federation’s intention is to provide safe surroundings and a healthy performance environment for our athletes, coaches, managers and people in the support apparatus.

“Based on Jakob, Filip and Henrik’s statements today, we will take responsibility for sharpening this work.” – BBC



the authorAV1 NEWS

Leave a Reply