Canadians Thank Coach Who Gave Renner A Pole

FasterSkierFebruary 16, 2006

Canadian Press

Cesana Pariol, Italy — The kudos keep coming for the Norwegian ski coach who gave cross-country skier Sara Renner a pole when hers snapped during Tuesday's Olympic team sprint.

Renner has already sent Bjoernar Haakensmoen a bottle of wine. Cross Country Canada has passed on its appreciation. And Norway's chef de mission can also expect a letter of thanks from the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“It was reflex,” Haakensmoen said Thursday. “I didn't have to think.

“Our policy of the Norwegian team, and my policy, is we should help each other. We should compete on the same ground. Everybody should have two skis and two poles.

“We try to do our best so our skiers can be on the top of the podium, but the issue here is we need to help each other.”

Ironically, Norway finished fourth in the race. Haakensmoen laughed when asked if his skiers complained to him about helping another team.

“No,” he said. “Canada was better than Norway. They were clearly better. The pole had nothing to do with it.”

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