Norwegian winter sports stars kept mining more gold medals at the Nordic World Ski Championships this week. Some of the medals moved both the athletes and their coaches to tears.
Skier Heidi Weng, for example, was so overcome with pride and joy after the Norwegian women’s team won relay gold at the Corona-plagued competition on Thursday that she burst into tears during a live TV interview. Weng and other veterans including Therese Johaug were mighty impressed by their youngest teammate Helene Marie Fossesholm, who at age 19 even anchored the race and made sure the Norwegians snatched the gold away from the Swedes, who were favoured.
The men had also won an interval race the day before and ski jumper Maren Lundby became the first woman to win gold on the biggest jump that earlier was reserved for men only. That offset the Norwegian ski jumpers’ disappointment after the men’s star jumper, Halvor Egner Granerud, tested positive for the Corona virus and had to withdraw from the championships. He’d been favoured to win gold, too, and was confirmed as winner of the World Cup on Tursday.
Cross-country skiing queen Johaug, meanwhile, also won a 10 kilometer race on Tuesday that many have ranked as the best performance ever for the now-32-year-old champion. Norway held a total of 23 medals at the World Championships as of Thursday afternoon, 10 of them in gold. Sweden ranked second with six, spread evenly between gold, silver and bronze. Then came Germany, Slovenia, Russia, Austria, Poland, Finland, Japan and Switzerland.