Petter Northug, the Norwegian skier who’s had a disappointing season on the cross-country circuit, decided against taking part in the weekend’s World Cup competition at Holmenkollen in Oslo. His coach says he’s still exhausted after the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where he failed to win any medals.
Northug, who formerly dominated men’s cross-country skiing and has been one of Norway’s biggest skiing stars, was supposed to enter the men’s 50-kilometer (30-mile) ski race on Saturday and even win, hopefully before thousands of cheering Norwegians. “He thinks it’s really sad, but he just hasn’t been functioning well since the Olympics,” his coach Eirik Myhr Nossum told NRK.no. “He’s just tired, nothing more than that.”
Northug broke away from the national team to train on his own and have his own sponsors this year, but he hasn’t performed well. The 28-year-old also dropped Wednesday’s sprint in Drammen and he also left early from the World Cup competition in Lahti. He’s not sick, Nossum said, just out of form.
Nossum said Northug still hopes to compete at the World Cup in Falun, Sweden next weekend and then wind up the season. His failure to ski at Holmenkollen is the latest setback for the annual event, which is facing financial problems and a poor weather forecast, with rain expected on Friday and temperatures during the weekend of as high as 5-7C.