Sports

Norway is ahead of the number of medals at the Winter Olympics

BEIJING – They’re doing it again.

Norway, with a population of just five million, is on a winning streak every four years over the rest of the world.

It may not surpass the historic 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, when Norway won 39 medals8 more than its closest competitor, Germany, which has 16 times as many people.

But it’s close.

Norway won the 15th gold medal of the Beijing Olympics on Friday, a record for a single country at the Winter Olympics, a total that puts the country seven ahead of Russia (population 144 million). ) in the medal tally and last year Germany (population 83 million) in the race for the most gold.

Its most recent victory has come men’s triathlonbut Norway also has medals in ski jump, Nordic cross-country skiing, speed skating and cross-country skiing and freestyle skiing.

“We have a strong team,” said Kjetil Jansrud, champion Alpine skier. “We’ve always been like that.”

More than powerful. Norway is now so successful, it has become a beacon of winter sports. American skiers, both Alpine and cross-country, have been training with Norwegian athletes on the same mountains and glaciers for many years. Every year, the country brings 150 of the top international junior cross-country skiers to camp to learn technique and train with the sport’s top coaches. Norway has partnered with the UK to develop and share wax technology for Nordic skiing.

However, over the past four years, a number of countries have sent their top sports leaders to study the country’s methods – well, the ones their experts will share – highlights the latest step in Norway’s elite winter sports hospitality.

Luke Bodensteiner, athletic director of the American Ski and Snowboard Association, the national governing body for skiing.

And so, that spring, Bodensteiner and top executives visited their competitor.

Norway’s willingness to provide guidance to competitors may seem odd, but as much as they want to win, they also want to ensure that their award-winning winter sports thrive and that will only happen if the competition is stiff.

Bodensteiner and his team left Norway after a week of confidence that any country could build a Norwegian winter sports machine. It will all take 30 years and a complete overhaul of the system of developing young athletes.

He also surreptitiously suspected that Norway was keeping the most valuable information to itself.

For example, Norway is ahead of its competitors in developing the most aerodynamic suits for skiing. It pioneered the use of GPS sensors to help Alpine skiers find the fastest way down the mountain. Its cross-country skis are reliably the fastest, the result of endless testing and retesting.

While the rest of the world trains Alpine skiers as sprinters, focusing on building booms, Norwegian coaches and trainers discovered that Alpine racing is like running 3,000 meters. So Alpine skiers started training like distance runners, bikers, and doing innovative aerobic training circuits in the gym.

The country’s research is also beginning to succeed in summer sports. In Tokyo, Norway’s men won gold medals in the 400 meters hurdles and 1,500.

For Norway, things changed after the 1988 Calgary Olympics, where they won just five medals, none of which were gold. That’s an unacceptable result for a country where children start skiing and hiking at the same age.

Norway, which had rapidly transformed from a mid-range economy built around fishing and agriculture to an oil-rich nation, began pouring money into Olympiatoppen, the organization that oversees the sports Olympic elite sport.

It also redoubles its commitment in the document Children’s Rights in Sport, ensuring and encouraging every child in the country access to high-quality opportunities in athletics, with a focus on participation and socialization. socialization rather than tough competition.

Norway’s well-funded local sports clubs, which exist in most neighborhoods and villages, do not host championships until children are 13 years old.

Its largest national skiing event, the Holmenkollen Ski Festival, began in 1892, including a race for elite but not young adult skiers. Children take the course when they want and there is no formal time for them. Coaches, both professionals and parent volunteers, must undergo formal training.

“There seems to be more of an emphasis on being inclusive of everyone,” said Atle McGrath, a 21-year-old Norwegian Alpine skier whose father, Felix, competed in Alpine for the United States at the World 1988 Olympics said. “Whether you’re really good at it or not, everyone has the same experience.”

Jim Stray-Gundersen, a former surgeon and physiologist and sports science advisor to the American Ski and Snowboard Association, has lived in Norway, where his father grew up, for five years while working. Work as a scientist with Norwegian Olympic athletes. He said the country’s priority was to build a culture of health and regular exercise, and that the country’s competitive strength stems from that.

“That’s how you create psychological satisfaction, healthy lifestyle habits and great athletes over time, and it’s very much the opposite of how we do and don’t do it in America,” he said.

Young people who do not show particular talent still participate, and some of them blossom as teenagers, long after children in more competitive countries may have switched to playing the cello. McGrath, for example, didn’t excel until the age of 17.

Norwegians also tend to enjoy outdoor life and activities, both during the summer months when the sun shines near 22 o’clock and during the long cold and dark winters.

Felix McGrath, who grew up in Vermont, said his son first showed an interest in skiing when he was 8 or 9 years old and would spend hours doing homemade ski jumps in the front yard. although it continues to play football, baseball and crosswalks. – ski fees.

At the age of 14, he got serious about Alpine skiing, but people hardly noticed his results at the races until he was at least 16 years old and attended a special public school for the young. aspiring skier.

McGrath said: “Atle always played pretty well but he never won continuously. “He’s the type of guy who always hangs behind the best kids and is always showing off, working hard and getting better and better.”

Atle McGrath didn’t win a medal in this Olympics, but he did show some Norwegian spirit. On Wednesday, he slipped through a gate on his second slalom run and came to a stop. But instead of slipping off the track, he took two steps up the hill, returned to the gate, and continued downhill. He finished 12 seconds later than the leader but still raised his arms in victory.

That’s what the Norwegians do at the Olympics.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/sports/olympics/norway-medals-winter-olympics.html Norway is ahead of the number of medals at the Winter Olympics

Fry Electronics Team

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