Inge Andersen

For Northug and Norway, Poker is Politics

It’s not oil, fish, or aquavit that’s behind the Norwegian sports machine, which delivered the most medals per capita of any nation at the 2010 Olympic Games—at least not entirely. Instead, a healthy portion of the funding for Norway’s sports organizations comes from Norsk-Tipping, the state-owned gambling company. Norsk-Tipping dedicates 45.5 percent of its annual profits to sports—more than $241 million U.S. dollars in 2009 alone. That’s one of the reasons that quadruple Olympic-medalist Petter...