Thursday, February 25, 2010

the mystery of Norway

A great article , from the Wall Street Journal, about the Norwegians` view on themselves and their ranking in the Olympics.

Article link: The Mystery of Norway

A sample:
By the end of these Olympic Games, the Norwegians will have pulled off what is, arguably, one of the finest performances in the modern history of sports.

The only problem is that nobody outside Norway seems to take them seriously.

Norway's Olympic team has won 17 medals in Vancouver so far, enough to place it third overall and only one gold medal behind the leaders. The country grabbed three medals Tuesday, including silver and bronze, respectively, for Kjeitil Jansrud and Aksel Svindal in the men's giant slalom. The haul is expected to continue throughout this final week.

Norway has won more Winter Games medals than any other nation. Last week it became the first country to win 100 Olympic gold medals, and Tuesday it hit the 300-medal milestone (the U.S. is second on the all-time list with dozens fewer.)

What makes its performance hard to fathom, however, is that Norway has only 4.7 million people to choose from. It's as if the American team finished third in Vancouver after limiting the athlete pool to people living in metropolitan Detroit.

After winning a bronze Tuesday, Mr. Svindal said expectations for victory in Norway can be a little out of control, especially in the Nordic sports. "People think you can just go to the Olympic Games and take the medals home with you," he said. "It's a little harder than that."

At Whistler Tuesday, where Mr. Svindal was challenging for his third medal of the Games, some of his countrymen said the expectations back home had become unrealistic. "Now, the success is almost a given, so if we don't do well, then people get disappointed," said Anette Frolich, of Oslo


My own personal observations, sitting here in Oslo, is that Norwegians will accept nothing less than Gold. Even today at lunch my co-workers were complaining that we were ONLY in 3rd place with the amount of medals (only U.S. and Germany have more than us!).

We are allowed to be proud of our accomplishments!

At the same time, I wish the Norwegian media would stop with the negative headlines every time we do NOT get gold. It just sends out the wrong message to the younger generations, who again feel the pressures of being the best. (pass this along to Petter Northug too, who clearly needs to grow up).

Maybe this article will remind my fellow Norwegians that we are, in fact, doing a pretty damn good job!

No comments:

Post a Comment