Thomas Alsgaard will wrap up a very successful World Cup career this weekend in Falun, Sweden.
In Falun, Alsgaard will be skiing the Pursuit (skiathlon). Fittingly, he won the first World Cup skiathlon ever last year, which was also held in Falun.
Alsgaard struggled this season due to a hand injury during the summer, but he did manage to win two gold medals at the recent World Championships. With the recent wins in Val di Fiemme, Alsgaard place himself in the cross-country skiing record books. He is the first skier to have won gold medals in eight straight international championships.
Some have recently made the case that Alsgaard has been just as important to cross country skiing in Norway as the legendary Bjorn Daehlie. Daehlie, the all-time leader in World Cup wins and Olympic Golds, is generally regarded as the best cross country skier of all time. But remember than Daehlie was was the anchor man on the 1994 Norwegian Olympic Relay Team that was beaten in a sprint by Italy. From that point forward, the anchor position has belonged to Alsgaard and he has been the ultimate closer in an event that is the equivalent to the Super Bowl in Norway. No one is feared more in a sprint to the finish with gold on the line. Would Norway still be regarded as the best team in the world if Alsgaard had not been there to secure numerous World Championship and Olympic Relay golds? The Alsgaard – Daehlie debate is certainly an interesting one and speaks volumes for the success of both men.