‘Worst’ Olympics for Norway in 52 years

Bookmark and Share

With only four medals and none of them in gold or silver, Norwegian athletes chalked up their worst Olympic performance in Rio de Janeiro since the summer games in Tokyo in 1964. Promises that Norway would do much better than it did last time in London were not fulfilled.

Norwegian athletes put on a mostly disappointing performance at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which ended over the weekend. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Norwegian athletes put on a mostly disappointing performance at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which ended over the weekend. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Not even international superstars like golfer Suzann Pettersen, who ended up in 10th place, managed to raise Norwegian standings at the Summer Olympics in Rio that ended on Sunday. Norway’s women’s handball team had been gold medal favorites as well, but they suffered a bitter loss to Russia in the semi-final and took home the bronze as a consolation prize after beating the Netherlands.

When it was all over, Norway had bronze medals in rowing, wrestling and handball. Sweden, by comparison, did much better, winning two gold medals, six silver medals and three in bronze. Denmark also won gold, with their men’s handball team sweeping to victory for the first time, along with six silver medals and seven in bronze. Only Finland performed more poorly than Norway among the Nordic countries, winning with just one bronze medal.

Top athletics bureaucrat Tore Øvrebø, who had promised better results after the London disappointment in 2012, apologized for the poor performance but had no intention of quitting. On the contrary, he was making new promises that Norwegian athletes would do better at the next summer games, back in Tokyo.

Øvrebø stressed that Norway is best known and qualified as a winter sports nation, and indeed it has led the medals rush at the Winter Olympics for years. He also claimed that Norwegian athletes in summer sports are in the midst of a “generational shift,” with former medal winners like javelin star Andreas Thorkildsen being replaced by younger talent that’s not yet established.

“I’m not satisfied with the results,” Øvrebø told reporters in Rio on Sunday, “but I don’t think the results are directly tied to me. We have to look at the resources available and at recruiting.”

Norway at least had a higher profile at the closing ceremonies Sunday night, where electronica music star Kygo (Kyrre Gørvell Dahll) performed in pouring rain before around 90,000 spectators and millions more around the globe. “It was fantastic,” Kygo wrote on social media after leaving the stage. He performed his new single Carry me with artist Julia Michael.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

  • frenk

    Symptoms of a country on the slide? Standards are so low in every* part of Norwegian society……what can be done to at least halt the decline?

    *Skiing not included.

  • Dave Smith

    Same old story ….. an official doesn`t do his job properly, blames everyone else and gets to keep his position ! No pressure , sånn er det bare … typisk.
    And Norway , …. investment into grass roots sport is the key to future sporting success . Dig deep , splash some cash, fund school sports . Sports should be an integral part of school life , not an after school activity for those who have the money .

  • Ja_ja

    Both other commentators spot on. This is what happens in a country where children are spoilt rotten from day one, are given everything they want (there’s a difference with need) and told you are all equal for your entire upbringing.

    I went to a great grammar school where the head teacher drilled into us many times over the years and especially before our exams that we need to work hard and study because we are competing with privately educated kids whose parents had spent fortunes for them to get the best education money could buy. And they would be competing for Uni places with us etc.

    Not just that, but what I fear any children I might have here will miss out on is the fantastic schools sports culture in the UK. Where you feel proud to represent and compete for your school. It gives exposure to all sorts of sports and helps foster a competitive attitude that you will need to survive in this world….well unless your Norwegian I guess, where incompetence is rarely punished.

    Yea Norwegians will say they are great at Winter sports but let’s be honest. The quality of top elite athletes they are competing against is small. This is because in other parts of the world winter sports compete with other sports for the crop of the young athletes and also the obvious, and that is that most parts of the world are prohibited from winter sports – largely because of the climate i.e. Lack of snow.