Thursday was the best day so far for Norwegian athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Biathlon skier Tora Berger sped to victory in the Women’s 15-kilometer Individual event, clinching her first gold medal, the second at the Olympics in Vancouver and Norway’s 100th overall. “It’s sad to stand here and cry when things went so well,” the overwhelmed winner told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), dabbing at her eyes with a Norwegian flag.
Berger, from Lesja in the mountains of Gudbrandsdalen, made 39 of her 40 shots and skied the course in 40 minutes 52.8 seconds, finishing ahead of Elena Khrustaleva of Kazakhstan, who took silver, and Darya Domracheva of Belarus, who took bronze.
Berger’s strong performance on the snow was followed just a few hours later by Norwegian Emil Hegle Svendsen, who won a silver medal last weekend. He captured the gold in the Men’s 20-kilometer Individual, missing just one shot and skiing the course in just 48 minutes, 22-and-a-half seconds. Fellow Norwegian Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who’d been heavily favored in most biathlon events before the Games began, ended up taking a silver medal. He logged exactly the same time as Belarus competitor Sergey Novikov, 48 minutes, 32 seconds. so they each got a silver medal and no bronze was awarded.
Svendsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he drew inspiration from Berger’s win earlier in the day. “I could see that she was very determined today,” he told NRK.
“That gave me the feeling I’d been looking for.”