Norwegian skiers collected four medals right after competition began at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf on Thursday. Norway grabbed all three in the men’s sprint, while Maiken Caspersen Falla won silver in the women’s race.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo led the pack, winning gold by a solid margin. Norwegian teammate Erik Valne won silver and Håvard Solås Taugbøl won bronze. “You can say Norway got off to a good start at the World Championships,” noted one commentator for Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday afternoon.
It also marked the fifth time in a row that the now-30-year-old Falla won a sprint medal at the World Championships. No one has every accomplished that before, landing her a place in the ski history books. Her silver was especially appreciated after an otherwise disappointing season so far.
Klæbo was winning praise for outpacing all his rivals in the sprint, but admitted his medal came at a high cost. He has sacrificed almost all contact with friends and family to avoid Corona infection, and badly missed his grandfather who serves as his coach but had to stay home in Norway. “It’s been a strange season,” Klæbo told NRK.
It’s also been 10 years since the World Championships were held in Oslo, and Norwegian skiers dominated on home snow as well. Norway has been tipped to win many medals again this time at the event that runs through March 7.