Gustav Iden still not fit, 2024 will be difficult: ‘This is pretty challenging’

Gustav Iden (Picture PTO / Insta Iden)

2023 was – as Gustav Iden himself describes it – the most challenging year in both his personal and professional life: no wonder, as the Norwegian had to deal with injuries and personal loss. Now Iden reveals that his Achilles injury is still not over, but there are also positive developments: his swimming is going better than ever.

Iden updates everyone in a video, as the Paris 2024 Olympics getting closer and will take place in just a few months from now. Earlier Iden told that winning the Olympics is the only big goal he has left. “2023 was the worst year of my career and of my life in general. There’s not much positive to say about it. I didn’t have one race where I was happy and there were very few workouts that went in the right direction. What I thought was just a “good excuse” to end the season early with a minor Achilles tendon injury has been bothering me for almost half a year now. I have no experience with being injured, so this is pretty challenging; I don’t know what the best direction is and I don’t know what pain is good and what pain is bad.”

A first training camp – an altitude training camp in Morocco – was already cut short early by Iden because his Achilles tendon immediately hurt again while running. “I have been suffering from it for an insanely long time now. In Morocco I started running a little bit again, but the pain came back pretty quickly, so I decided to abort the training camp and go to a doctor in Germany for treatment.”

So still there are benefits to the difficult situation and major setbacks Iden is facing: “Unfortunately my Achilles tendon was not good enough to run or bike efficiently, but the swim went surprisingly well and I had the best swim results ever. The swim is actually what I have struggled with the most my whole career and I said the other day that the swim is no longer my weakest part now. But, that’s only because I can’t run.”