Alex Harvey’s amazing finish in the team sprint today fired a lot of people up. There are stoked skiers all over North America who are excited to really be in the game now. We have known that the Canadians were fast and had medal potential for a while, but speculating and seeing it are two very different things. Watching skiing is a ton more fun when you’re rooting for someone who wins, and you can’t get much more ‘in the game’ than beating Norwegians at Holmenkollen! That’s how we know that these guys are really really for real. Kershaw had a bit of trouble in the beginning of the semis, running into some difficulty with a ski popping off, but came back. Harvey’s tactics during the final were really impressive, he made a little move in his second leg just to stay clear and show that he could, but after that
I can’t help but feel a little bad for Hattestad though. It would have been a really amazing moment for him, winning in front of such a famous home crowd. No matter what happens after this, he never gets that chance again. Northug seemed to be feeling the disappointment as well. He didn’t sound very gracious after the race in this quote that I borrowed from FasterSkier.com: “It was bad for me that Modin was so bad in the last leg,” Northug said. “I hoped that he wanted a medal, and he didn’t. So then I had to go through him.” While this is a pretty edgy thing for a professional skier to say after the race, I wouldn’t say that it’s uncharacteristic for Northug. It just seems more acceptable when you’re winning everything than when you are just being a bit of a sore loser. He didn’t have a ton of fire in his last leg either, and I think it’s a little bit unprofessional for him to say that.
In any case, this race was probably the most fun I have ever had watching cross country skiing on TV, so thanks guys for that. The US OPA trip crew was yelling for you in Rogla, and it’s great to see our side of the globe represent!