Continuing our Snooker In Europe series…
Torstein Wik is the main Norwegian commentator for Eurosport. He first played snooker in 1981 when a table was installed in a club in Trondheim. “It was a nice way to spend time while the girls were out shopping!” he said. “The feeling of making long pots and doubles was great.
“I started commentating in 2004, the year Ronnie O’Sullivan won his second world title. At that time we just had one channel on Eurosport, but snooker boomed and after that we transmitted all the major ranking events plus The Masters every year. To be able to sit and watch the matches live – ball by ball, frame by frame, day after day – it’s a thrill and I never get tired of it.
“Everyone understands the difficulty of the game, so you can be 8 years old or 80 – and still be in love with snooker, even if you have never picked up a cue. It’s the perfect TV sport because we get under the skin of the players and we can follow their emotions during the match. Thinking about the physical roller-coster they go through, it’s impressive how they hold themselves together and don’t smash the cues more often!
“Among many people snooker is the number one sport to follow on TV. Unbelievable, but true. Winter sports like cross country, ski jumping, biathlon and of course football are popular, but snooker has its place now because of Eurosport. A lot of people that don’t follow other sports are fans and a lot of couples sit together and watch. One guy said to me that watching snooker is like going up in the mountains and fishing. It’s not noisy – and it’s meditative. And there’s a lot of strategy in it, like chess. The people love that.
“We now have dedicated snooker centres in Trondheim and Oslo, and other cities are following up. Kurt Maflin plays at the one in Oslo and his father, Curtis, has been over several times to coach other players. Hopefully within the next five to ten years we will have our own Luca Brecel.
“A few of the newspapers write stories about Kurt, and they have always likes the ‘bad guys’ like Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and Ronnie. We also have one of the most famous websites for snooker worldwide in snooker.org by Hermund Årdalen from Oslo.”
Torstein also won a trick shot competition run by World Snooker in 2012 which earned him a trip to the World Championship final at the Crucible. To see his amazing trick shot, go to Youtube and search Torstein Wik.