Top executives glide on smooth waters

While some of Norway's top Olympic rowing hopefuls trained on the water at Årungen Rowing Stadium, KONGSBERG CEO Geir Håøy had the opportunity to try his hand in a double scull with former Olympic rower and current leader of Olympiatoppen, Tore Øvrebø.

"I was an active rower at Tønsberg Rowing Club nearly 40 years ago. Today we'll see if it's like riding a bike," says Håøy, as he watches European champions Thea Helseth and Inger Seim Kavlie in a double scull, and world champion Birgit Skarstein in a single scull, glide fast and firmly across the water at Årungen.

"I am also a former rower and competed in the Olympics in '88. I've been the national team head coach in rowing, so this is a home for me, but it's been years since I rowed myself. We're probably on equal footing. It is important that we are interviewed now while we are still friends, because there might be a lot of instructions later. When a guy who hasn't rowed in 40 years says it's like riding a bike, I get nervous,” says a laughing Øvrebø.

Håøy mentioned that he used to row single sculls and that this is his first time rowing a double scull. "There weren't many people to argue with in a single scull," Håøy jokes, but he believes it will go well.

"It will be fun to get back on the water again," says Håøy.

Summit 2024

Recently, Øvrebø announced the first round of athletes who can start packing their bags for the Paris Olympics. Helseth and Seim Kavlie in the double scull, and Skarstein are among the first group of athletes heading to the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris this summer. Helseth, Kavlie, and Skarstein are some of the 130 athletes participating in Summit 2024, a joint effort between businesses and Olympiatoppen aimed at elevating ten selected sports to achieve medals and success at the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.

"The Summit collaboration is essentially an attempt to unite 10 Norwegian summer sports that have a strong performance culture, create a shared development environment with good partners, and ensure better financial health for the national teams. We have succeeded in this, partly because KONGSBERG is participating in this effort," says Øvrebø, before the two top executives lifts their double scull out of the boathouse and carries it down to the water.

Technology Collaboration

KONGSBERG has a close technology collaboration with Olympiatoppen. For the past two years, KONGSBERG has been a partner in Summit 2024, and earlier this year, the collaboration was extended for an additional four years, making KONGSBERG a partner in Summit 2028.

"For us, it is incredibly exciting to work with Olympiatoppen and the Summit program. We identify with the values and challenges that top athletes face every day. Therefore, being a partner in Summit resonated with us. These are sports that may not have the strongest economies or be the largest in Norway, but globally, they are major sports. Our athletes will compete against global competitors, and they need support from us and others," says Håøy.

Kongsberg Maritime's hydrodynamics department in Ulsteinvik works closely with Olympiatoppen's technologists on the minute margins for the Norwegian rowing team. Achieving boats that are 0.2 percent faster, which is the goal, can mean the difference between silver and gold medals. Hydrodynamics involves movement in water, and the department is a small, specialized competence center based in Ulsteinvik, Norway, and Kristinehamn, Sweden.

"When it comes to the benefits of using technology in sports, several factors greatly impact performance. This includes how well-trained you are and mental strength, but when the boats are very close to each other near the finish line, technology can tip the balance in the right direction," says Øvrebø.

Still Good Friends

“It was a bit of unsteady cycling, so it was probably for the best that Tore was keeping the balance,” Håøy says after the session. “What I want to say to those going to the Olympics is good luck. We hope they perform their best, and of course, we hope for medals – preferably gold.”

The Norwegian Rowing Federation and KONGSBERG can confirm that the two top leaders are still good friends.

Summit 2024: One team. Ten sports. 130 athletes

Learn more about Summit here

About Summit 2024 and Summit 2028

Olympiatoppen and the Norwegian Confederation of Sports launched SUMMIT 2024 in 2022 as a joint effort between businesses, the public and athletes. The goal was to lift ten selected sports to medals and success at the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Paris in 2024. The project includes 130 athletes in total, fighting for tickets to the Olympics and Paralympics, and medals when they get there. 

SUMMIT 2028 organized by Olympiatoppen connects sports and athletes with partners to help fund the road to Los Angeles 2028. The project is a national effort between businesses, the public, and athletes. The donations fund equipment, coaches, and training camps in pursuit of marginal gains. The goal is a national boost towards success at the 2028 Summer Olympics. SUMMIT 2028 is a continuation of SUMMIT 2024.


Within the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF), Olympiatoppen is tasked with the development of Norwegian elite sports and athletes. This is done through the national team model, where different associations are responsible for their own elite athletes, while Olympiatoppen has the overall responsibility for developing results within Norwegian elite sports. Olympiatoppen is responsible for executing Norway’s participation in the Olympic and Paralympic games.