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The great Petter Northug wanted to return to the sport. Is this empty boasting or a real goal?

Date: April 19, 2024 Time: 14:41:14

The great Petter Northug wanted to return to the sport. Is this empty boasting or a real goal?

Tatyana Postnikova August 20, 2023, 1:15 PM Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.

The Norwegian is still active. But at the highest level he no longer shoots. Well, what kind of World Cup is he in 2025?

Well, dear cross-country fans, have you missed Petter Northug? If so, then you’re in luck. It seems that the Norwegian thinks about returning to the big sport again. At the very least, he announced his desire to compete in the marathon at the 2025 home world championships, which will take place in Trondheim.

What is it: emotions, empty bragging or a serious goal?

Did you say emotionally?

From August 16 to 19, the Toppidrettsveka-2023 roller ski stage race was held in Gronsen (Norway). The great Petter Nortug also participated in it, who reaped his last great victories in the 2015/2016 season. After the skiathlon, in which Petter placed only 42nd, he went upstairs to speak to a group of fans who actively supported him on the slope. He told fans they could see him run a marathon at the 2025 World Championships.

“We said that we would be at the World Cup in 2025. He replied that he would also be there and run a marathon,” explained fan Fredrik Akeli.

Sergey Ustyugov lights up on skates cooler than Nortug:

Ustyugov surprised the fans again. The champion lit up at the Russian Rollerski Championship!

This was confirmed by other fans who were present during the conversation with Nortug. At the same time, in a conversation with the media, Nortug did not say anything about his intention to return. He just summed up the results of a not very successful skiathlon.

“There were a lot of fans on the track and I felt like they were pushing me forward. But the uphill race cost me a lot of strength, I was no longer capable of anything else. That was the end,” said the Norwegian.

Return to big sport

So did Nortug finally decide to come back?

In fact, Petter has already begun his journey back to the sport. He retired in 2018 and has not competed in a World Cup or Championship since. But in the 2021/2022 season, the Norwegian started in the Ski Classics series as an amateur. And before the start of last season, Northug created Team Northug Crucible to compete as a professional athlete.

“I think we have to go back to 2017. I was worried about how my body would react (to training volume. – Approx. “Championship”). I’m tired. But I hope support. I need it if I’m going to wear my starting number in winter”, the two-time Olympic champion said then.

Nortug told why he decided to end his career:


“Russians hate to lose.” Legendary Nortug: frankly about cross-country skiing

Petter actually spent the entire season in the marathon series and started in 13 races. Basically, Nortug finished between 20th and 30th places. And the best result is fifth place in the Grönklitt Criterium 50km race in early February. At the end of the season, the Norwegian was ranked 36th in the overall standings, earning 473 points. For comparison: Emil Persson, who became the best, has 2407 points.

Also notable was the victory in the 42-kilometre race over the Cortina – Toblach distance. However, it was not part of the Ski Classics series.

The oldest participant in the World Cup 2025?

In addition to the marathon series, Petter also competes in roller ski tournaments in the summer. True, the results here are also not impressive. At Toppidrettsveka-2023, Nortug was 6th in the classic sprint, 43rd in the 54km marathon and 42nd in the skiathlon. He didn’t start in the final chase.

Petter Northug

Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The current results suggest that even with a real desire to compete in the 2025 World Cup, it will not be easy for a two-time Olympic champion to qualify for the tournament. He is now 37 years old and certainly not getting any younger.

If Nortug still manages to make it to the 2025 World Cup, then at 39 years old, he will most likely become the oldest participant in the history of the ski tournament. But, perhaps, this will remain the main achievement of the Norwegian at the World Championships, because you definitely should not expect medals from him.

But with all this, we must not forget that Petter has repeatedly spoken about his unwillingness to return to the sport for the home world championship. Therefore, the announcement of Toppidrettsveka-2023 is rather just emotions.

But Northug has two more years ahead of him. Who knows what will come to his mind?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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