Crown Prince Haakon isn’t the only Norwegian male celebrity to be caught speeding lately. Long-distance skiing star Anders Aukland lost his driving license last week after readily admitting he drove like an “idiot” in the mountain valley of Gudbrandsdalen.
Aukland, who has won Olympic and World Championship gold, not to mention some of the world’s top long-distance races like Vasaloppet in Sweden and Marcialonga in Italy, was caught driving 144 kilometers per hour (86mph) in a 90kph (55mph) zone on Highway 15 near the mountain community of Skjåk in June.
“I just have to lie down flat and admit I pushed too hard on the gas pedal,” Aukland told newspaper Aftenposten. “It was pure and simple idotic.”
His traffic violation was considered especially embarrassing since Aukland has been active in the conflict between roller skiers and motorists who need to share the road. “I know how little it takes to cause an accident and how great the consequences can be,” he told Aftenposten, admitting that he and other skiers should be even more responsible when behind the wheel.
Aukland, age 40, is the latest in a series of middle-aged men to be caught driving over the speed limit: Crown Prince Haakon was pulled over in California in May, another top skier, Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset had his license suspended for driving 131kph in a 100 zone and even the former chief of police in Oslo was stopped while driving near Lake Mjøsa.
Aukland didn’t contest the citation and said his wife and colleagues would likely help drive him where he needs to go for the next eight months. His excessive speeding comes shortly after police reported that men are behind the wheel in nine out of 10 fatal accidents in Norway.