Olympic Team Selection Controversy In Norway

FasterSkierJanuary 24, 2006

Editor's Note: In the recent discussion about the US Olympic team, references were made to the way the Norwegians select their team. The Norwegians use primarily coaches discretion in selecting their Olympic team. It appears that when the stakes are this high, controvery can always appear, especially when discretion is used. Also of interest is the fact that Norway will only take five women, compared to twelve men. Left out was among others Guro Strom Solli, the third place finisher in last weekend's sprint World Cup race in Oberstdorf.

Junior skier Petter Northug (19) was not selected for the Norwegian Olympic team despite winning the pursuit at the Norwegian nationals last week. This has created quite a bit of controversy.

On Saturday last week Petter Northug used a superb finish sprint to easily outsprint 2002 Olympic Champion Frode Estil and a number of other national team skiers to capture the Norwegian 30-k pursuit crown. A few hours later, Northug and most of Norway was stunned to find out that he was left off the Olympic team.

In the prestigious Norwegian relay Championship the next day Northug was up against Tore Ruud Hofstad on the last leg. Hofstad is the man that will most likely ski the anchor leg on the Norwegian 4 x 10-k relay team at the Olympics. To TV viewers it almost looked like Nurthug waited for Hofstad at the end for so as to crush him in the sprint.

When he crossed the finish line Northug yelled —“I’m xxxx (explicit) not going to the Olympics!”


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