Blog: Norway’s historic hundred

Al Jazeera’s Chris Tortise on Norway’s record-breaking Winter Games medal tally.

Tora Berger on her way to securing Norway’s historic 100th gold medal [GALLO/GETTY]

At the Whistler Olympic Park on Thursday, biathlete Tora Berger won Norway’s 100th Winter Olympic gold medal in the 15 kilometre individual biathlon, making Norway the first country to pass the incredible landmark.

Berger’s teammate, Emil Hegle Svendson, then promptly won their 101st in the men’s equivalent individual race.

The Norwegian press had been swift to describe the lack of metal from the first few days of competition as a “national disaster,” piling further pressure on their athletes.

Perhaps they were in fear of another poor showing following Norway’s substandard performance in Turin four years ago.

Cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen managed to quell the nerves of the nation’s camp with a stunning victory in the women’s sprint.

With Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk the favourite for the title, Bjørgen powered her way through the rounds to become the Olympic champion.


Three gold medals may seem like a paltry total for the most successful country in Winter Olympic history, but there are still many more events in which Norway could pick up more titles.

The biathlon continues to be the most likely, where Ole Einar Bjørndalen will be looking to add to his five Olympic gold medals, and improve on his silver in Thursday’s individual event.

The great Norwegian, at the grand old age of 36, is also the most successful athlete in history, with his latest silver giving him his ninth Olympic medal.

It is an impressive feat in one of the top endurance Winter sports.

The nation’s curling team is performing extremely well, with three wins out of four so far, and could also challenge for medals later in the tournament.

Can any other country challenge the dominance of this Scandinavian country?

The USA are closest to them, but are still a full 17 golds behind them.

Germany are nearly 30 behind, with the Austrians nearly 50!

Hard work

Such dominance in winter sport proves just how hard the athletes train to be the best at what they do, and how much support is given from their fans.

Of all travelling supporters, the Norwegian flag stands out as the most dominant, sometimes even rivaling the home nation’s maple leaf.

The fans have certainly not been disappointed – especially those lucky enough to watch their sport stars take the biathlon titles on Thursday.

And should they expect more wins in the coming days?

It would be a national disaster if they didn’t.

Source: Al Jazeera


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