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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Norwegians excel at more than skiing

Norway isn’t only producing champion skiers any longer, despite its ongoing dominance on the trails and slopes. This past week highlighted even more triumphs in football, track and field, tennis and golf.

Sports commentators are calling it a tronskifte, literally a royal succession. The young and now very wealthy football player Erling Braut Haaland, tennis ace Casper Ruud, track and field star Jakob Ingebrigtsen and golfer Viktor Hovland are all stealing the spotlight from skiing stars. The 22-year-old Haaland excelled again during the weekend, when Manchester City’s top scorer helped his team win the Champions League. He’s already won most every prize for individual players and now Manchester City has won football’s triple crown, 24 years after Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjær did much the same for Manchester United.

Just a few days earlier, Hovland got NOK 40 million richer after winning his biggest victory on the PGA tour, The Memorial, while Ruud made it into the Grand Slam final, ending second only to Novak Djokovic. Just a few kilometers away Ingebrigtsen broke another world record in the two English mile race in Paris.

Norway’s skiers, already training in the off season, are mightily impressed. “It’s been wild with Haaland, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Casper Ruud and other (Norwegian) football players in top world class,” Ingvild Flugstad Østberg told state broadcaster NRK. “I get so inspired and motivated. It’s hard to believe what they’re all accomplishing.” World Champion skier Pål Golberg agreed: “They’ve worked so hard from a young age, and set aside lots of what youth otherwise experience. It’s a sacrifice that the athletics model in Norway isn’t used to, but I think they’re tough to succeed.”

NewsinEnglish.no staff

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