Chess champ Magnus Carlsen landed back in Oslo Wednesday afternoon and was met by water canons, around 200 eager fans, Norwegian flags and flowers at the airport at Gardermoen.
His Qatar Airways jet was greeted with the water canons on the tarmac, a rare honour but similar to one shown when Alexander Rybak returned home to Norway after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009.
Some joked that Carlsen’s delayed appearance in the arrivals hall may have been because he had trouble getting his huge World Chess Championship trophy through customs. Carlsen finally showed up and was also greeted with a huge flower bouquet presented by the mayor of Bærum, where he lives west of Oslo,
Carlsen repeated that he now mostly looks forward to “sleep and relax” and take a break from chess. He also received flowers from Norway’s chess federation and the country’s top athletics institute.
He said he’s already looking forward to defending the world championship title he won in Chennai, India last Friday. Asked whether he intended to defeat any challenger, he responded “that’s the idea, yeah.”