Great day for two downhill racers…

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Kjetil Jansrud (right) skied a fabulous second run at the Winter Olympics’ Men Giant Slalom in Whistler on Tuesday, edging out his favoured teammate Aksel Lund Svindal to win the silver medal.

Jansrud held the lead for a long time and looked set to take the gold, but he in turn was edged out in the end by Carlo Janko of Switzerland, who swooped down the course with a time of 2:37.83. Jansrud, age 24 from Vinstra, logged 2:38.22, just ahead of Svindal with a time of 2:38.44. Both men were jubilant. “It’s great with two Norwegians on the podium,” Svindal told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Jansrud was impressed by his own success. “A silver medal is a big deal,” he said. It’s his first of the Olympics and the third for Svindal, who already held a gold and silver before winning Tuesday’s bronze. PICTURE: Switzerland’s Carlo Janka, center, celebrates with Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, left, and Kjetil Jansrud, right, during the men’s Giant Slalom ski races at Whistler Creekside in Whistler, B.C. on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 during the Olympic Winter Games. (Peter J. Thompson/Canwest News Service/MCT) Photo via Newscom

…and for freestyle skier Hedda Berntsen

The 33-year-old former Telemark skiing champion Hedda Berntsen won the silver medal in the Women’s Skicross competition at the Olympics on Tuesday, literally flying through the air to win another medal for Norway just minutes after Jansrud’s and Svindal’s. That brought Norway’s medal count up to 17.
Berntsen has been skiing for years, concentrating on alpine events after switching over from Telemark in the 1990s, and then making the switch to skicross. Tuesday’s Olympic final was won by Ashleigh McIvor of host nation Canada, with Marion Josserand of France taking the bronze.
IN OTHER NORWEGIAN OLYMPIC ACTION ON TUESDAY: Speed skater Håvard Bøkko didn’t manage to keep up his speed at the Men’s 10,000-meter event in Vancouver, placing fifth in a competition that had a dramatic ending when heavily favoured Sven Kramer of the Netherlands was disqualified over a lane violation. That resulted in the gold medal going to Seung-Hoon Lee of South Korea, with Ivan Skobrev of Russia winning the silver and Bob de Jong of the Netherlands getting the bronze. Norwegians Sverre Haugli and Henrik Christiansen placed sixth and seventh respectively.

The Norwegian women’s team placed fourth in a biathlon relay, after fumbling with their rifles, missing some shots and not being fast enough. They placed 21 seconds behind the German team, which took the bronze in a relay won by Russia. France took the silver. The Norwegian men’s relay team placed fifth.
(Written February 23, 2010)