After Norway’s biathlon queen Tora Berger fell during Monday’s competition in Sochi, 23-year-old Tiril Eckhoff neatly stepped in to win at least a bronze medal. She was thrilled, and gave full credit to the crews who prepared and waxed her skis.
“If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have won,” Eckhoff told state broadcaster NRK. That was welcome praise after the past few days of relatively poor performances among Norwegian skiers that have been blamed squarely on the waxing crews.
Eckhoff was just seven seconds behind silver medal winner Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic, and around a half-minute behind gold medal winner Darya Domracheva of Belarus. Her surprising performance helped perk up Norway’s medals ranking to 5th place overall, with five gold medals, three silvers and seven bronze. Germany remains in the lead, followed by Russia, the Netherlands and the US.
In other events in Sochi on Monday, the Norwegian men’s curling team lost again, this time 5-3 to Denmark, but still had a chance to get into the semi-finals if it beat Great Britain on Tuesday. It didn’t.
The men’s biathlon event fell victim to thick fog on Monday, while Norway’s male ski jumpers ended their Olympic adventure in disappointment. Germany won the team competition, followed by Austria and Japan. Norway ended in sixth place, and will return home from Sochi without any medals.