It finally stopped snowing, the fog lifted and the first event of the Biathlon World Championships at Holmenkollen in Oslo could begin as scheduled Thursday afternoon. Thousands of local fans were cheering for a gold medal, but when it was all over, that went to the French, not the Norwegians.
“Sorry, Norway,” a rueful Norwegian biathlon star Tarjei Bø told state broadcaster NRK, after he shot poorly and failed to build on a good racing foundation set by his teammates. The event was a mixed relay, with two women shooting and skiing six kilometers each on the first and second laps of the race, followed by two men shooting and skiing 7.5 kilometers each on the last two laps.
Marte Olsbu of the Norwegian team shot perfectly from standing position and the Norwegian team was in the lead during the first portion of the competition, but the Bø brothers (Tarjei and his sibling Johannes) didn’t follow through.
The French team anchored by biathlon star Martin Fourcade won the gold, and the German team took silver. Medals were handed out in downtown Oslo during “after ski” festivities Thursday evening.
No events were planned for Friday, but the action was to resume on Saturday with men’s and women’s sprint races covering 10- and 7.5 kilometers respectively. More snow and fog was in the forecast, causing concerns for both the athletes and local organizers of the major sporting event.