What a difference a year makes for Norway’s Christian Sorum.
Last year on this date, Sorum said he celebrated his 24th birthday with “the BeachVolley Vikings at our training camp in Tenerife in the Canary Islands and eating at the Hard Rock Cafe.”
But for his 25th birthday here today, Sorum said he will be at “the volleyball high school called TVN. It’s a small place called Sand in Sauda two hours from Stavanger (117 km north of the legendary FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour site).”
Sorum said he will “celebrate my birthday with the team. It's not like being in Tenerife where the weather is 20°C warmer. But I am sure it will be a good one this year as well. Just a little colder.”
Since September, when he and Andres Mol won their third-straight European Championships in Latvia by defeating reigning FIVB world champions Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia in the finals, Sorum said his team has “been training a lot. Mostly gym, but also some ball.”
When asked if only playing in one regularly-scheduled event in 2020 has hurt their team's development, Sorum said “of course. The best way to improve your game is to play matches against the best teams but this is the same for everyone. We have been able to practice exceptionally well in the last weeks so we can’t complain.”
In regard to his team’s third win in five matches with Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy at the finals of September’s European Championships in Jurmala, Sorum said “it’s always fun to play against the Russians. We had a bad start in the first set but managed to come back to win in two sets. It felt amazing to win the European Championships again and now leading the head to head with Viacheslav and Oleg. They are a great team.”
As for the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Sorum said “It’s just the way it is right now. The Olympics isn’t the most important thing when a crisis like this happens. I really hope that things get better soon so we can have the Olympic games in 2021. It’s been our goal for most of our lives and we are doing our best to be as good as possible for next season.”
With the schedule for the 2021 season to be confirmed, Sorum said his team “will continue to practice and improve our game here at the high school, TVN. And hopefully, we can travel more south soon and practice outside again.”
Sorum said the emergence of his team as one of the world's top teams at a young age “has just been amazing. We have loved this sport for many years now and our goal has always been to be the best. But from being that 12-year-old boy with a dream to being ranked No. 1 in the world is still unbelievable. We are incredibly grateful for the whole journey.”
In 28 World Tour starts since playing together for the first time in August 2016 prior to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Sorum and Mol have posted a 119-26 record (82.1 winning percentage) with 10 gold medals, 12 title matches, 14 podium placements and 21 quarterfinal appearances.
In their last 25 World Tour events during the 2018-2019 seasons, Sorum and Mol have compiled a 107-22 match mark (82.9%). During this run, the Norwegian pair has posted a 32-3 record on the European circuit with four titles.
In 2016, Sorum and Mol also captured the 2016 European under-22 title in late August with seven-straight wins in Thessaloniki, Greece. Overall, Sorum and Mol have competed in 37 recorded events where the pair has now totalled 15 gold medals with a 163-32 match mark (83.6%).
When asked about the most memorable events and/or matches on the FIVB World Tour, Sorum said “it’s a difficult question to answer. We love playing in Gstaad (Switzerland), Itapema (Brazil) and Hamburg (Germany), but the Vienna Majors has to be my No. 1 event. I also remember the quarterfinal against Doppler (Clemens) and Horst (Alexander) in 2018 in Vienna as an incredibly special match for us.”
As for any disappointments, Sorum listed the semifinal setback to Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler at the 2019 FIVB World Championships in Hamburg. “It was a three-setter 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 12-15) that lasted more than one hour (70 minutes),” said Sorum. “The crowd was amazing. We bounced back the next day and captured the bronze medal.”
The Hamburg win was only Thole and Wickler’s second win in six FIVB World Tour matches with Sorum and Mol, who avenged that setback a month later (August 10) at the European Championships when the Norwegians defeated the Germans in a two-set quarterfinal match.
With a lot of free time due to the pandemic, Sorum said he is “learning more about investing money, in general. It has kind of been my hobby lately, real estate is No. 1 for now.”