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Olympic and World Championships gold medallist, Jacob Ingebrigtsen and two of his brothers Filip and Henrik accuse their father Gerjt of years of physical abuse. They are quoted in an article written for the Norwegian website VG titled, “This is Our Story” referring to him as “very aggressive and controlling.”
Gerjt responded through his lawyer that the accusations were baseless. The lawyer John Christian Elden said, “Gerjt never used violence.”
“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.”
This all came to the fore after the Norwegian Athletics Federation announced that Gerjt would not be travelling to the Paris Olympic Games as a coach.
“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.”
Apparently, the eldest brother Martin claims that there is no need to fear Gerjt. He went public to defend his father.
“Gjert has by no means been a typical father. For those who have seen the TV series on NRK, the controlling and querulous tendencies in him are clearly visible. Nevertheless, it is important for me to clarify that most of the feelings and memories are good. They are good because our home has been characterized to the highest degree by safety, joy and togetherness. Fortunately, fear is a foreign feeling to me. I never feared dad.
“I must honestly admit that I find it difficult to see the great fear when others in the family are constantly visiting and have recently been on holiday with Gjert. Most people probably wouldn’t have done that with a violent person or built their house within walking distance of the family home if the fear is that great. I have never feared dad that way.
“We are many strong personalities in the family, each and every one with strong opinions. The family picture has therefore been characterized by many loud discussions, and Dad has always had clear lines for what he thinks is best for us. Nevertheless, we have been independent and confident enough to choose our own paths for our lives.
On Friday, the police issued a statement, in which they said they would investigate whether there is reasonable ground to initiate an investigation into the allegations the Ingebrigtsen brothers have made about their father.
There are a total of seven Ingebrigtsen children. They are Kristoffer, William, Ingrid, Martin, Henrick, Filip and Jacob. Their Mother is named Tone.
They starred in a five-season Norwegian reality show called Team Ingebrigtsen, which revolved around him and his brothers, showing the trials and tribulations of middle-distance running.
World Athlete of the Year nominee – Jakob Ingebrigtsen 🇳🇴 #WorldAthleticsChamps 5000m 🥇— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) October 20, 2023
1500m 3:27.14 AR
2000m WR 4:43.13 ⏰
Double Diamond League Champ 💎
Double European indoor champ 🥇🥇#AthleticsAwards pic.twitter.com/CdeK1qBnHo
Jakob Ingebrigtsen hit the international scene at the age of 16 and became the first 16-year-old to run a sub-four-minute mile. He married Elisabeth Asserson in September 2023 at age 23.
The now 23-year-old won two World Championships 5000m gold medals in Eugene and Budapest. He also picked up two silver medals in the 1500m at those same meets. In Tokyo, he earned a 1500m gold. Jacob holds world-best performances in the 2000m and two-mile race (3218m) and four other European records including running the 5000m as fast as 12:48.45. He holds one outright world record in the 1500m indoors having run 3:30.60 in 2022. The youngest of the three athletic brothers has absolutely dominated the European championships and any Diamond League meets that he has competed in.
Most of 32-year-old Henrik’s accomplishments happened between 2009 and 2014. He finished fifth in the London Olympic Games 1500m in the time of 3:35.43 in a tactical race. The following year he finished eighth in the Moscow World Championships in the 1500m event. In Monaco in 2014 Henrik Ingebrigtsen clocked his personal best of 3:31.46, which is his best performance across the distances.
The 30-year-old Filip’s two records of note are national, one over the 1000m at 2:16.46 and the other over the indoor mile at 3:56.99. Both were achieved in 2020. Filip earned a bronze medal at the London Olympic Games in the 1500m distance event clocking a 3:34.53, finishing two positions in front of his older brother Henrik.
Little is known of the others. Apparently, Ingrid made an attempt in athletics but did not take well to Gerjt’s training methodology and quit at age 15.
Gerjt continues to coach Norwegian middle-distance runner Narve Gilje Nordås, who earned a bronze medal in the 1500m distance at this summer’s Budapest World Athletics Championships. The 25-year-old owns a best of 3:29.47. He has run the mile in the time of 3:48.24.