Three Norwegian men could stand on the winners’ podium after the tough 50-kilometer World Cup ski race at Holmenkollen on Sunday. Norwegians also won both the men’s and women’s even longer-distance Vasaloppet in Sweden, making it a good weekend for Norway on the ski trails.
The most emotional victory at Holmenkollen went to Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, a 29-year-old skier representing the Lillehammer Ski Club. His father died shortly before the competition and Nyenget had just been at his funeral on Friday, before skiing the long race on Sunday. Asked whether he’d been thinking of his father during the race, a tearful Nyenget told state broadcaster NRK “the whole way.”
He finished ahead of the favoured Sjur Røthe and Didrik Tønseth, managing to ski 50 kilometers in two hours, three minutes and 27.3 seconds. He beat Røthe by just six-tenths of a second, and Tønseth by 3.5 seconds.
It was an impressive performance for the Norwegians even though Russia’s strong ski team had left Oslo after being banned from racing because of their president’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, several of the stars of the Norwegian ski team including Johannes Høsflot Klæbo also had to withdraw because of Corona infection.
In Sweden, meanwhile, Norwegians Andreas Nygaard won the men’s 90-kilometer Vasaloppet and Astrid Øyre Slind won the women’s race. She even beat former Norwegian skiing star Marit Bjørgen, after three hours, 50 minutes and 6.4 seconds on the long trails through Dalarna. The race attracted more than 16,000 skiers.