Ambition, humility, and commitment. This is how the handball player Casper U. Mortensen made his way to F.C. Barcelona – his dream team since he was a child. Casper is also one of the key players of the Danish National Team. In the past, he played for HSV Hamburg and TSV Hannover-Burgdorf, where he recently became top scorer of the German Bundesliga. Still not impressed? Casper also took part in the Olympics in Rio in 2016, where he – no surprise – won the gold medal with the Danish team. We are thrilled to see what the future reserves for Casper and we asked him some questions about his passion and routines. Check out the interview below!
1. You are a very successful handball player, for how long have you played this sport?
I have been playing handball since I was around 8 years old, so around 20 years so far.
2. What triggered your passion for handball?
It was my older sister who played handball first. She is 5 years older than me, so I was always in the arena with my dad cheering for my sister when she had games. When it was halftime in her game I went on the court to try to score some goals against my dad who stood in the goal. My 10 years older brother played football and I also went to see his games with my dad. I actually stopped playing handball for 1 year, when I was 10 years old because I preferred football at that time, but I realized after a year, that I was much better at handball than football. And I didn’t like the cold weather in Denmark, so it was much nicer to be inside on a handball court.
3. How has playing this sport affected your life?
It has affected me in so many ways. Some of my best friendships developed because of handball. I am traveling around the world and get experiences I would never be able to get if I wasn’t a professional handball athlete. I train every day, and I have a big focus to keep my body in good shape so I am healthy all year around. I met my wife because of handball. I have won things I remember for the rest of my life.
4. Do you have any handball idol?
No, but the basketball player Lebron James is a huge inspiration for me.
5. What advice would you give to someone who would like to start playing this sport?
Handball is an amazing sport which will give you friendships for life and experiences that you will never forget.
6. How do you find the motivation to train hard every day and how do you prepare for a big match?
For me, it is important to play at a high level in every game. Not only one game or two games, but every game! I want to be the best in my position and that is only possible if I am training, eating and living in the most optimal way. Before a big match, I have some rituals I always follow. I stretch my body in the locker-room and I use a hyperice roll to get my muscles warm and fresh. I make sure I have eaten healthy food before the game, so I have a lot of energy. When the game starts I try to be focused and give everything I can to get the win for my team.
7. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I think the Olympic final in Rio in 2016. We played against a French team which had not lost a final for the last 10 times in a row before this game. France has dominated the international handball sport for many years and was the clear favorites before this game. But we managed to play a really great game and won the gold medal at the end. That was an amazing experience for my teammates and me which we will never forget.
8. Do you have any guilty pleasure?
No, I cannot go party the day before a game, for example. I have to live healthy to stay fit and ready for every training session and game.
9. You recently signed a contract with FC Barcelona, how do you feel about it? And how do you feel about moving to Spain?
I have played for 3 years in Germany now. I love the Bundesliga. It's the best league in the world. I like Hannover a lot where I have played for the last 2.5 years. Now there is one club which can change everything for me, and that is FC Barcelona. It has been a dream of mine since I started playing handball to represent this club. It is an honor that the biggest club in the world wants me. I am ready to take my talent to Barcelona and hopefully win a lot of trophies for the club.
10. What do you do when you are not training?
I am seeing my lovely wife, my family, and my friends. I like to watch TV series, NBA and movies and I like to play card games or something similar. I enjoy traveling around the world and seeing cities and nature.
11. You often wear our DANISH ENDURANCE compression socks. What do you like about them?
It is the best sock I have tried in my life. I am wearing compression socks every day. I train and play with them. The compression optimizes my game and I feel my legs are quick and fast. The material is really comfortable, and they have the perfect fit for my calf muscles and feet. I also wear them when I travel around the world. It can be on a bus before an important game with the team, or when I’m flying to the Maldives for vacation. I love the socks and I am really happy to be a part of the DANISH ENDURANCE family! Follow Casper on Instagram and Facebook!