A sixth gold medal, this time in a biathlon sprint, put Norway back on top of the Winter Olympics on Friday, at least until Germany won a seventh. After a dramatic week of wins and losses that left Norway lagging in the medals race, the winter sports nation could still claim 14 medals heading into the weekend with more prospects ahead.
Marte Olsbu Røiseland claimed her third medal, a coveted gold, after dominating the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint. She’d already been part of the winning Norwegian team in the mixed biathlon sprint when the games opened last weekend, and then won a bronze medal in a 15km race a few days later.
Johannes Hosflot Klæbo also won another medal on Friday, bronze this time, in the men’s 15km race after winning gold in the men’s sprint earlier in the week. Therese Johaug had also boosted Norway’s standings, first with her long-awaited individual gold medal in the 15km skiathlon and then in the 10-kilometer race later this week.
Norway’s most dramatic gold medal came on Wednesday, when 21-year-old Birk Ruud from the Oslo of Bærum won the Olympics’ first Big Air competition in a free skiing event. His perfect jump and landing also gave him an opportunity to pay tribute to his late father, who died of cancer less than a year ago. “Papa, you’re always with me,” Ruud told the media, before closing his eyes with a hand over his heart on the winners’ podium.