“Mama, we reached our goal,” an emotional Stig-Andre Berge cried out after winning Norway’s first Olympic medal in wrestling since 1992. Berge beat Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan after a tough match that left him with two black eyes and a split lip.
“This is no gentleman’s sport,” Berge told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) after winning his bronze medal on Sunday. He also joked that he “couldn’t let Olaf Tufte have a better Olympics than me, he’s an old man,” referring to the member of a Norwegian rowing team that won bronze last week in an otherwise relatively medal-poor “OL” for Norway.
Commentators called it an exciting wrestling match, with Bayramov winning the first point and Berge wrestling back to a point based on sheer strength. It ended in a 1-1 tie but the referee declared Berge the winner.
“I wrestled for my family and my mother today,” Berge said. She died in February and was a great supporter. “This is a medal for many people, and it’s like gold for me.” Now Berge plans to take a vacation with his family and friends, and eat exactly what he wants to eat.
Norwegian athletes had won just two medals as of early Monday but hope their “handball girls” would pull through again. The national women’s handball team scored their fourth victory in a row during the weekend, after beating Romania 28-27 on Sunday and Montenegro 28-19 late last week. The team had already qualified to play in the quarter-finals.