Now it is not new that Norwegian cross-country skiers dominate. In Holmenkollen 2011 Norway won 7 of 10 exercises. In Val di Fiemme two years after 7 of 12. But together we keep the results of the World Cup with Faluns opening days, it feels as if dominance is growing.
In my mind I thought sprint relays were quite open competitions. It was the intention when the exercise was introduced, that a shorter relay with two runners on each team should give more nations a chance, but now it matters little what the International Ski Federation does. Short or long, forwards or backwards, Norway has runners who can win anything, and I’ve never seen a clearer difference. There were two divisions on Lugnet. Norway at one, the rest of the world in the other.
Therefore, this was more than just two gold medals, there were two exercises so pervasive well done in all phases of the competition that it resembled perfection, and I think no one had expected the kind tees. In any case not too early. But Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg and Finn Haagen Krogh put both so fast that asked guns Maiken Caspersen Falla and Petter Northug until finally could, file into. They did not use their best qualities. It was demonstration.
That three of the Norwegian skiers are 24 year olds who strictly belong next generation, it will take over when poster name as Northug and Bjoergen lends itself only reinforces the impression boom in Norwegian skiing. It is normal that hegemonies swings from one nation to another, that sport goes in waves, but I’m simply not sure. It has never been more cross-country skiers who bet professionally in Norway, it has never been so many competitive environments next national team, and combined with tighter economy in countries with poorer recruitment could be that difference will continue to increase.
Swedish cross country has not fully the same economic assumptions, nor the same amount of available runners, but is still the nation closest to us in cross cultural and carrying on the same ambitions. Then it is hard to see Norwegian runners go so fast that the only thing that is left for them is some excitement about silver or bronze. Apply a spell trouble and crash in alternation, such as may befall when one is not alone in the front, and it becomes not so much again on a day Norwegian runners do not put a foot or spelling errors.
But Stina Nilsson was the best of the second-best and won it she could win.
A packed Lugnet deserved it.