Ridiculous history in the Norwegian team. Desperate, Northug, 37, was called in to take over.
Batraz Tomaev December 3, 2023, 00:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
The two-time Olympic champion was offered to compete in the relay at the World Cup. Because there is no one else.
The Norwegian cross-country ski team never ceases to surprise us with some, to put it mildly, atypical organizational decisions. After Klebo left for the Norwegian Cup because the World Cup was too difficult for him, it turned out that the team did not have enough skiers for the relay.
Everything is so bad that they wanted to return 37-year-old Northug to the national team.
But he refused. Why the sudden hopelessness in Norwegian skiing?
“Silly but serious message”
VG reported that two-time Olympic champion Petter Northug, who will turn 38 next month, has received an invitation to compete in the second stage of the World Cup in Gällivare, Sweden. The national team coach, Eirik Muir Nossum, approached the Norwegian with an offer.
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Nossum invited Northug to compete for one of the relay four. And all because the team only took seven skiers to the Sweden stage.
“I sent Northug a somewhat silly but serious message asking if he would come here. I thought that if he was in Gällivare, I could include him in the relay team. But he said that he would work for TV2 in Hochfilzen,” Nossum told reporters.
The great Northug retired in 2018. And, apparently, a whole generation of fast and reliable skiers grew up after him. But not.
Northug sometimes threatens to return to major sports, but it turns out not at any cost. The television contract turned out to be more important than the possibility of performing at KM.
It seems that Northug no longer has much desire to dedicate himself to big sports:
The great Petter Northug wanted to return to the sport. Is this empty boasting or a real goal?
Klebo even loses in the Norwegian Cup
So why is the Norwegian team missing skiers? This statement is simply surprising, considering that at home, where the Norwegians have an expanded quota, their representatives occupy almost all places in the top 10.
Part of Norway’s problem was due to the departure of Johannes Klebo from the team. The current world champion failed in the first stage and went to the national cup to get in shape. Klebo won the sprint race in Galo, but lost the 10 km time trial the next day. The second place finish for the once invincible skier is no consolation. The athlete lost 14.1 seconds to race winner Henrik Dönnestad. What is now expected in the fourth stage of the World Cup in Trondheim.
What the hell is going on with Klebo?!
“It’s not fun when you’re in bad shape.” Johannes Klebo completely failed at the start of the season
But in addition to Johannes Klebo, another titled Norwegian is also having problems: four-time world champion Emil Iversen. In the same National Cup race he finished fourth, losing 22.9 seconds to competition leader and bronze medalist Mikael Gunnulfsen by exactly two seconds.
Well, on December 3, at the World Cup stage in Gällivare, the same men’s relay race will take place, where Petter Northug was called up. And judging by the initial list, the Norwegians never found the team’s eighth member. Therefore, only one team from the invincible ski nation will be represented in the relay.
They have fun there, what more can I say.