Yipee! The Nordic World Ski Championships are underway!

Mind games!
Nail-biting suspense!
The inevitable drug scandal!
People with big skis flying through the air!
People with skinny skis collapsing dramatically across the finish line!
Top secret waxing routines!
Alsgaard showing up Zorzi again (oh please please pleeeeease!)!
Members of the appropriate sex in full spandex suits!

As flodjunior says, “It’s almost as much fun as the Winter Olympics, and you don’t have to sit through all that stupid figure skating.”

sound of crickets chirping

Right, two events are now finished.

In the women’s classic 15K mass start, Norway’s Bente Skari not unexpectedly took the gold, with Kristina Smigun of Estonia 12 seconds behind for silver and Russia’s Olga Savialova picking up the bronze. Kaisa Varis of Finland and Svetlana Nagejkina of Belarus were disqualified before start because of high hemoglobin levels; Varis says her levels probably came from sleeping in a high-altitude tent. I hope she’s telling the truth - the last thing the sport needs now is another World Champ drug scandal, and I especially don’t want to see the Finnish team involved again.

The men’s classoc 30K mass start ended with a Norwegian three-fer: Thomas Alsgaard, gold; Anders Aukland, silver; and Frode Estil, bronze. Estonia’s Andrus Veerpalu, the previous world champion in this distance, finished a strong fourth, and in fact was leading most of the way only to be passed in the home stretch. No word of DQ’s for this race!

Tomorrow: women’s 10K classic - “traditional” start this time. I know it makes for better television, but I’m not a fan of mass starts…

Bjørn Dählie said the other day that Mathias Fredriksson would win evertythng this year, so I can only assume that they were doped. :wink:

This is wrong, a finn is supposed to make the doping accusations:) .
And it’s Dæhlie.

Vist fanden. You can’t always get it right.

The Nordic Games…cool.

Im from the first North American city to ever host them.

Still have my sweatshirt from them. And I remember all the good looking Scandos in my town. Mmmmmmm scandos.

sniff I want to go back to Oslo!!!

Hey, Floater, since Fredriksson came in ninth, does that mean eight skiers were doped? Including the other Swede? :stuck_out_tongue:

So today we had the women’s 10K classic. And the winner is…

…like there’s any suspense? I think they’ve started stamping “Bente Skari” on the back of the medals ahead of time :smiley: But it was a close race, with Kristina Smigun of Estonia taking the silver, and Bente’s teammate Hilde Pedersen grabbing the bronze.

3 golds - 1 silver - 2 bronzes after three days of competition. Not bad, not bad. Norway’s national honor will be preserved no matter how badly the ski jumpers screw up.

I have no other explanation.

Damn greedy Germans grabbed both gold medals today.

In the men’s 15K classic, that would be Axel Teichmann. Silver went to Jaak Mae - I love that name - from Estonia, and Frode Estil took the bronze for Norway. But here’s an interesting twist - fourth place went to Kris Freeman of the United States. He’s only 22, in a sport where many reach their peak at 30 or older, and the US Nordic Skiing team can’t even afford to go to most of the World Cup competitions (which are for the most part in Europe), so I think it’s safe to call him an outsider.

The Nordic Combined normal individual gold (2 jumps + 15K cross-country) went to Ronny Ackermann of Germany. He wasn’t much less than a minute in front of Felix Gottwald of Austria, and that’s a lot for this distance; Samppa Lajunen of Finland took bronze.

Tomorrow is the weird hybrid “double pursuit” for women: 5K classic, then 5K freestyle. That whining sound you hear is because a lot of the skiers hate that event and aren’t shy about telling anyone who will listen.

So the women’s double pursuit, the one they love to hate, is over. Bente Skari was the favorite, but was in bed with “stomach problems”. Given that Thomas Alsgaard missed the 15K due to food poisoning, I suspect the other Norskies are eyeing their cook very suspiciously right about now… Anyway, this involves skiing twice around a 5K loop. First loop, classic, then change skis and poles, and do it again freestyle. Kristina Smigun of Estonia not surprisingly took gold, followed closely by Evi Sachenbacher of Germany and Russia’s Olga Savialova, who were so close they had to wait for the judges to look at the photos to determine who took silver.

Tonight the jumping competition starts, with individual big hill.

I missed the individual large hill (K120) jumping because totnak was watching a Moomintroll video (the things we do for our kids), but here’s the results from http://www.fis-ski.com : Gold to Adam Malysz of Poland, silver to Finland’s Matti Hautamaeki, and bronze to Noriaki Kasai, Japan. Simon Ammann, the kid from Switzerland who was the media darling of the 2002 Olympics, came in a disappointing 17th. For some reason they have columns for the two jumps on the results charts, but the columns are empty and they only show final points.

Incidentally, I see that this thread is still getting views, and I assume they’re not all from the mods. If anyone who’s looking in here has questions about the sport, ask away. I won’t claim to be an expert, but if I don’t know the answer, I at least know where to look.

Wot, no Swedes? You guys all out celebrating or something? :smiley:

Yesterday’s men’s 10K+10K double pursuit (a.k.a “skiathlon” - what kind of name is that???) was quite a thriller. Per Elofsson of Sweden is unquestionably one of the best skiers active today, but lately he seems to have had bad luck just when it really counted. Not Sunday. He sailed over the finish line to grab the gold, just inches in front of a whole pack of skiers. When the judges reviewed the tape, they found that the Swedish team, apparently figuring it was time to get on the board in a big way, had also grabbed the bronze, courtesy of Jörgen Brink. Tore Ruud Hofstad of Norway (and skiing fans everywhere say: Who???) picked up the silver, making it an all-Scandihoovian finish. Tore credits his big feet.

Mathias Fredriksson only took seventh again! Perhaps Dæhlie’s prediction backfired and worked as a curse? :eek:

Ski jumping, K120 team event: Okay, we Norskies like to think our team was thisclose to gold. But let’s be honest: from the third jump on, Finland owned this competition. By the last jump, they could have pulled an Eddie the Eagle and still walked away with gold. The real struggle was between Japan and Norway for silver, and in the end, Romøren had a weak jump, while Kasai (?) hopped long and well and nailed the landing. Silver to Japan, bronze to Norway.

And I forgot to mention: if Ruud Hofstad was one of the luckiest men in the race yesterday, spare a thought for one of the unluckiest: Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset had to withdraw after getting the point of a competitor’s ski pole in the, ahem, “groin” :o

A number of slower competitors were forced to withdraw from the race because they got to the ski-change area more than three minutes after the leaders. I do not like that at all.

Does anyone else only watch for the women?

Well, not me, but partly because I’m more interested in the guys…

Whew. It’s been a couple of days, let me tell you. Norwegians are a bit superstitious about relays - it ain’t over 'till it’s over. And this year that definitely proved true.

Take the women’s 4x5K relay, for instance. With Bente Skari still down with stomach problems, the Norwegian team wasn’t given much of a chance. But at the start of the third leg, Hilde G. Pedersen was 20 seconds in front of her nearest competitor. Until she fell! :frowning: The team never really recovered after that, but held on for bronze. Gold to Germany, 23 seconds ahead of second-place Finland.

Then there’s the men’s 4x10K relay. You ready for this? Norwegians feeling sorry for the Swedes. Sweden had this one in the bag… everyone thought. Russia was well behind as the final leg began, and it was possible they would catch up, but the Russian skier fell further and further behind Jörgen Brink. Behind him, Axel Teichmann of Germany and Norway’s Thomas Alsgaard seemed to be taking it easy, engaged in a tactical battle for bronze. But out of the blue everything changed. The Russian skier (can’t find his name!) seemed to run out of gas, and Alsgaard and Teichmann picked up speed. Now they were in a three-way battle for second… but not for long, they were alone… and they caught up to Brink. Then Brink just faded out. Alsgaard and Teichmann were left to battle it out right to the finish line - Norway took gold by a hair over Germany, and Sweden had to settle for bronze.

I forgot to mention the Nordic combined team event - two jumps per team member off the normal hill (K95), followed by a 4x7.5K relay. I didn’t mention it because it was such a yawn - any suspense there might have been was over long before the finish. The two closest finishers were Austria (who took gold) and Germany (silver), twelve and a half seconds apart. Behind them the gaps just seemed to get wider and wider. Finland took the bronze, over a minute behind Germany.

Tomorrow it’s the sprints - FIS’ concession to television viewers with sixty second attention spans.

That’s not a kind way to treat your neigbour and brother. Why can’t you let us win sometimes? :wink:

To quote a Swedish journalist:
Sverige är för evigt dömt till stafettens dödsdal.
You can win induvidual events but never World ski tournament or Olympic relays.
Btw I hope ypu’re not blaming Brink. He wasn’t good enough to beat Alsgaard and Teichmann but had to try.

FlodnakThe Russsian skier was Andrei Nouthrikine.

You’ve realy turned Norwegian and activly opposes every change to the sport. That’s good:D

We tried, man, we tried! Didn’t you see the third leg??? :smiley:


Incidentally, I’ve turned so Norwegian that I’m submitting myself to three days in a cabin without running water, let alone Internet access. It does, at least, have electricity and a TV. But this means I won’t be posting again until Saturday. Don’t assume you got rid of me that easily :wink:

(And if we get to Monday before I post again, I’m probably in the hospital after some bizarre and embarrassing ski accident. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, sit at home and watch it on TV.)

Since flodnak is away I will keep you up to date.

Yesterday it was the men’s and the women’s sprint.
The men’s were won by Tobias Fredriksson from Sweden with Håvard Bjerkeli and Tor Arne Hetland from Norway came in second and third.

The women’s were won by Marit Bjørgen from Norway with Cladia Künzel from Germany on second and Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen from Norway on third.

If anyone has any questions I will try to answer them.
Including which changes Norwegians has opposed in the sport if anyone wants to know.:slight_smile: