UPDATED: Members of Norway’s national men’s ski jumping team, flying high after thrilling performances at last week’s Hoppuka competition, were brutally brought back to earth after traveling on to Poland, where they became victims Tuesday night of what the team’s coach called “well-prepared” robbers. They later shook off the shock, though, and jumped their way to spots on the winners’ platform.
The thefts from their hotel rooms were, however, “incredibly irritating, and the worst of it is that there were uniformed guards placed at every hotel,” Coach Alexander Stöckl told news bureau NTB. “This band of thieves was well-prepared and fooled all of us. There wasn’t much we could do.”
The thieves reportedly went from hotel to hotel and stole personal computers, telephones, Ipads and money. The Norwegian team wasn’t the only one hit, so were several other national teams and administrators. Sports equipment was also stolen from two of the Norwegians.
The thefts of items from the ski jumpers’ rooms were reported to local police, and the arranger of the World Cup competition in Wisla was said to the taking the incident seriously, as was the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Stöckl said the team otherwise was well-received in Wisla and noted that all members of the ski jumping team qualified on Tuesday for the competition on Wednesday. “It’s important for us to look forward now to the next competitions,” Stöckl said.
And they did well. Norwegian jumper Anders Bardal won the World Cup event Wednesday night, his fifth so far this season, while fellow Norwegian Rune Velta placed third, his first time on the winners’ platform. Anders Jacobsen, who made a remarkable comeback during last week’s Hoppuka and finished second, ended up in a disappointing 15th place on Wednesday under difficult conditions. Tom Hilde, who was third overall after Hoppuka, placed 10th and Norwegian jumper Anders Fannemel was ninth.