Gold for Sweden and France, too
March 2, 2011
After several days of downturns, the Swedish women’s sprint team won sweet revenge and became world champions in Oslo on Wednesday. A young man from France also claimed his country’s first gold medal of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, making for a far more international medals ceremony in the Norwegian capital Wednesday evening.
Swedish skiing star Charlotte Kalla and her teammate Ida Ingemarsdotter beat out their rivals to claim gold in a foggy Holmenkollen arena. It was a more than welcome turn of events for the Swedes, who have had trouble with their skis and waxing crews in recent days. Two Swedes won the first day of events at the world championships last week, but had been absent from the podium since.
That changed on Wednesday. “They (their rivals) maybe thought that the Swedes would have bad skis again today, but then they had to see that the Swedes are back,” Ingemarsdotter told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Their victory came just in time for Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and her new husband Prince Daniel to oversee the medals ceremony on Wednesday evening. They had traveled to Oslo to catch some of the world championship action, while Swedish King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia are expected later in the week.
Both Kalla and Ingemarsdotter were invited up to the royal box to be congratulated by Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja, who raised Kalla’s arm in triumph.
“We had fantastic skis today, and I had dreamed that the race would develop as well as it did,” Kalla told NRK.
“Winning in Norway is a powerful experience,” Ingemarsdotter said.
Meanwhile, in the men’s competition that combines ski jumping and skiing, Jason Lamy Chappuis of France jumped and skied his way to the gold medal on and around the towering new Holmenkollen Ski Jump.
First Chappuis skied away from Norwegian rival Håvard Klemetsen, who finished fourth in the 10-kilometer race. Then Chappuis got ahead of two Germans, Johannes Rydzek who finished second and Eric Frenzel who finished third. Frenzel had also won gold earlier in the week.