FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 (WSC) in Oslo was a success for the hundreds of thousands spectators, the participants as well as the Norwegian hosts, not to mention their athletes. Norway won 20 (8 Gold, 6 Silver and 6 Bronze) out of 63 medals and when our King Harald V who attended every day was asked if that was a bit “greedy”, he answered: Who could blame them, this is what they have been training for years to do: -) The second most successful country was Austria with 10 and Sweden with 5 medals.
Norway’s national arena comprising of the Holmenkollen and Midtstuen hill or ski jump as well as the Cross-Country Stadium is a compact venue in the true sense of the word. The three competition venues all lay in close proximity to each other:
Cross-Country tracks main tribune with start and finish line.
Left: Holmenkollen Ski Jump – Right: Midtstuen Ski Jump
The championship lasts for 10 days, and includes 21 competitions within Cross-Country, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined (jumping first, then cross country by the same athlete). My wife and I had a one day sponsored experience, with three events included:
Nordic Combined team relay:
Norway won bronze, Austria gold and Germany silver in this event. Norway got off to a slow start, as number four following the ski jumping, but ended in third place, 40.6 seconds behind the winner:
Left: Ski Jump in Midtstuen – Right: Cross-Country relay
King Petter & Queen Marit:
The King and Queen of this championship are Peter Northug and Marit Bjørgen – in a class of their own. The incredible Marit Bjørgen won 4 gold medals and one silver this time and she is also the most successful sprinter in Cross-Country World Cup history, with twenty-three victories. She is ranked second (after Yelena Välbe) in the ladies all-time Cross-Country World Cup rankings, with forty-four individual victories. One of her most notable achievements was becoming the most successful athlete at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, by winning five medals, including three gold medals and the Championship relay gold for Norway’s women. On the day we where there, she won 10 KM:
Above: Marit in red – Photos from Women’s 10 KM – we were standing close by : )
Petter Northug won 4 gold and 2 silver medals in this championship including Sunday’s event: Men’s 50 km Mass Start Free, defeating Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin – Tord Asle Gjerdalen from Norway came third. Norwegian star Petter Northug powered Norway to gold in the men’s 4x10km relay last Friday as well, following teammates Martin Johnsrud, Eldar Roenning and Tord Asle Gjerdalen to clinch victory in the final leg of the relay after grabbing the lead with one kilometre to go. Northug was quite a successful athlete at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics too: Two Gold, one Silver and one Bronze medal!
How about you: Did you notice in the news or watched some of this winter sport event? Whatever; it would have been nice if you could share your thoughts in comment: