Author Topic: Winter Olympics 2014  (Read 20466 times)

Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2014, 04:25:09 PM »
Expectations are the downside of fame.

Women win the biathlon relay but the men get pipped by Sweden for the bronze in sprint classic.  Painful.  Waiting to hear the comments on this.

Norway sit atop the medal standings.  Trivia note.  The IOC does not recognize country competition.  Athletes compete for themselves.  The Sochi website publishes country results, the IOC do not.

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2014, 10:48:02 PM »
Norway took an imperious win in the team sprint at Sochi today.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg kept with Aino-Kaisa Saarinen from Finland on the first leg.  Marit Bjørgen went out looking dangerous from the start of the second leg and established a lead over Finland and Sweden.  In reality that was where the race was won.  Flugstad Østberg took over the third leg with a lead although Saarinen made up a little time on her.  But Bjørgen just widened the gap on leg number four, leaving Finland's Niskanen behind and giving Flugstad Østberg an even bigger gap for her final leg, the fifth.  Again the 23-year-old was evenly matched with Saarinen and maintained a lead of 4.48 seconds at the end of her run, after which Bjørgen blew the field away on the anchor leg, finishing with a 9-second lead over Niskanen and 17 seconds over Sweden's Nilsson in third place.

Today Marit Bjørgen took her second gold medal of these games to add to her three from Vancouver, while Flugstad Østberg added gold to the silver medal won in the individual sprint on her Olympic debut last week.  

Article/photos: http://h-a.no/Sport/Sportsmagasin/tabid/413/articleView/true/moduleid/226983/Default.aspx


After today's race the two Norwegian women were congratulated by King Harald V who had turned up in Sochi to check on Norway's progress.  "I was wondering whether my luck would change after the King arrived yesterday", smiled Marit Bjørgen to NRK.no after she had received her gold medal with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.  She said the last few days had been difficult for the men's and women's cross-country team after trouble with skis in the relay events.  With the King as a spectator the waxing team made a special effort.  "I can only thank the boys in the preparation team.  Our skis were just fanatic today", she said.

"It was quite fantastic to win the sprint with Marit and take my first gold medal at the Olympics.  She has been my role model for many years and will continue as my role model", said a jubilant Østberg.  She said it was special to stand at the finishing line waiting to see how the race would end.  "I was so excited about whether Marit would stay on her feet round the last bend.  I thought it would go well, but you never know", she said.

Already in her first circuit Bjørgen established a significant lead ahead of Finland and Sweden.  She widened the gap in her second and third runs and the two Norwegians won by 9 seconds ahead of the Finnish team of Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Kerrtu Niskanen.  Sweden took bronze after anchor woman Stina Nilsson outraced Germany's Denise Herrmann on the home straight.  Ida Ingemarsdotter was Nilsson's partner for Sweden.

Article/photos: http://www.nrk.no/sport/bjorgen-og-ostberg-vant-lagsprinten-1.11555089    
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Offline Alan

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Jacobsen gone home
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2014, 06:59:42 PM »
On Monday Astrid Jacobsen decided to go home to her family in Oslo.  "Astrid has made this decision completely herself, based on what she thought was best.  After the relay she had finished what she thought she could achieve and had used up all her power of concentration.  She decided she could not complete another week", said the trainer, Egil Kristiansen.

He confirmed that Jacobsen was in competition with Kristin Størmer Steira and Heidi Weng for two places in Saturday's 30-kilometre race.  "Astrid felt she was thinking too much about other things and that the other two would perform better than her", said the trainer.

He was impressed with the way she had managed to concentrate for a week after the shocking family news from home that came just as the Olympics started.  "She has performed well.  She finished 4th in the individual sprint and could have done better if one of her poles had not broken.  She raced a good 10-kilometre race without top equipment, and put in a good leg in the relay".

The plan is for Jacobsen to complete the World Cup season as normal.  "We have spoken about it.  She herself must decide whether she is ready to go to Finland in the week after the Olympics", said Egil Kristiansen.

Anders Skjerdinstad http://www.nrk.no/sport/uhrenholdt-jacobsen-reiser-hjem-1.11549972
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 07:01:32 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2014, 02:41:24 AM »
Very classy move.

From the other side of the Atlantic, Canada's women brought home the bacon today, winning gold in Canada's two premiere winter sports - hockey and curling.  The women's hockey team was down 2-0 to the Americans in the final with a few minutes to play in the game before scoring once and then again with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker.  Marie-Philip Poulin (who is the ice hockey version of Kristine Minde) scored the tying goal with under a minute left and then got the winner in overtime.

Tomorrow the Canadian men go for curling gold while the men's hockey team plays a perilous semi-final against a USA team that has been much sharper in Sochi.  Whereas the Americans are firing on all cylinders, Canada struggled to beat a Latvian team with one NHL player in their quarter-final.

While skiing, figure skating, cross country skiing and freestyle comprise about 25 medals each for a total of 100, if Canada comes home with single golds in curling and ice hockey, Canadians will be a happy lot.

Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star is a wonderful scribe.  This was his take on the game today:

"These have already been a very Canadian Games, but for one amazing evening it felt like we owned the joint.  

We’re good at a lot of things, but we have two core competencies — hockey and curling. Taking very different routes, our women’s teams proved Thursday that while we have always been happy to share them with the world, we take pride in ownership when it matters.

Canada was run ’round the rink for much of the game. Trailing 2-0 with less than four minutes remaining, a lucky bounce off an American player put them within one.

Over on the bench, U.S. coach Katey Stone was telling her team, “That’s okay.” It wasn’t.

Then, what deserves to be known as God’s most direct intervention in hockey history. Canada pulled the goalie. As the puck circled back to the blue line in the offensive zone, an errant lineswoman threw a pick on Canada’s Catherine Ward. American Kelli Stack snapped the loose puck toward the empty net.

That was it. That was the whole shooting match floating down the ice for about an hour and a half.

Just when we all knew it was headed in, the puck caromed off the right post and out. Please tell me Hockey Canada had an angle grinder out there an hour after the ice was cleared. We need to get that post home. It’s getting an Order of Canada. You should vote for it in the next election. That post stands for what we all believe in. That post has already defended our freedom.

Once the giant hand withdrew back into the sky and settled again, it was Marie-Philip Poulin’s turn to work small miraculous acts on His behalf.

She tied it with 55 seconds to go. Eight minutes into overtime, she was allowed the freedom of slot. The American goalie had drifted out of position. Poulin had the empty net Stack had missed. She buried it, and other things."

http://www.thestar.com/sports/sochi2014/2014/02/20/canadas_golden_day_hard_to_beat_kelly.html





Marie-Philip Poulin:
http://www.sochi2014.com/en/athlete-marie-philip-poulin

About curling and ice hockey in Canada:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_in_Canada
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 02:56:29 AM by law10 »

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2014, 08:01:22 AM »
I liked the cigars.  Was it four years ago that the Canadian hockey women celebrated with cigars, drank bottles of beer and went joyriding with a lap of honour on an ice machine? consternation among the officials . . kudos . . :)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:37:38 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2014, 01:48:58 PM »
Great memory.



Yes and they got the beer in their hands too, Molson Canadian.  Doesn't look like they found the zamboni for a cruise though.  In Canada a gold medal will easily get you the keys but in Russia it may get you the gulag.  Another bit of local trivia - every Canadian uses the term Zamboni for the machine, which is the name of the guy who invented it.  It actually shaves off the top layer of the ice and waters it.  One of the first people to buy one and create the legend was Sonja Henie who saw it and immediately bought two.  I've actually never heard the words "ice machine" or "ice resurfacer" in my life in Canada.  

Another reason the win was particularly satisfying was these two teams hate each other.  Actually I'm not even sure hate is a strong enough word.  Even reading about the Norway/Sweden rivalry seems tame by comparison.  Women invest emotionally far superior to men in sport.  That usually produces a higher level of sportsmanship, but cast the die in the opposite direction and the amplitude is greater as well.  

Another interesting observation.  Norway leads the medals table in Sochi, but take out the cross-country skiing medals (including biathlon) and they are 20th with a gold and two bronze and tied with Great Britain, and have five medals less than Italy.  Go another step and take out the incredible Kjetil Jansrud and Norway are last in the medals table, tied with Kazakhstan with one bronze.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 03:05:14 PM by law10 »

Offline Alan

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1990s generation succeeding for Norway
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2014, 07:05:35 PM »
Three of the Norwegian gold winners in Sochi are only 23.  Cross-country skiers Maiken Casperesen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, with biathlete Tiril Eckhoff, are part of the the new order that could bring Norway a lot of excitement in the years to come.

"It's great that we are a new generation that is coming up like this", said Østberg to NRK.no.  They are a lot less well known than some of their distinguished teammates, and would have been recognised in the street by very few - before the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Now that has changed.  Falla took gold in the individual sprint, Østberg in the team sprint and Eckhoff in the mixed relay.  As well as that, Østberg took silver in the individual sprint and Eckhoff bronze in the mass-start event.

Falla and Østberg give credit to the tough competition they have been through for their successes.  "I trained a lot with the boys at my ski club.  We were also enthusiastic members of the junior team and we did not want to be any worse than the boys.  Really we trained more than them", said Østberg.  They were also given chances in the senior squad, where Falla and Østberg debuted at the Liberec World Championships in 2009, as 18-year-olds.

"In one way things have gone quickly, in another really slowly.  I was on the podium when I was 18, but was not highly praised for that.  There were still many distances I had not succeeded at and there was a lot left to learn - but early success gives you belief in yourself and you want to continue with what you have done", said Østberg.  "Maiken, Tiril and I are from environments in which we are allowed to go at our own pace".

Biathlete Eckhoff has made her breakthrough this season, with a podium place in the World Cup series before Christmas and two medals at Sochi.  "It would be good if I could make an impression on the sport in future", she said.  "It's great that athletes from my year are beginning to be as good as the older ones".

Falla and Østberg came into the senior cross-country squad at a time when competition was less severe.  After a downturn in 2009 Norway took only one medal in cross-country and expectations were nothing like so high.  

"How important was it to get your chance when there was less competition?" - "Looking back, it was very important", said Østberg, who this season had two wins in the team sprint before the Olympics started.  In the years since Liberec she has gathered experience and despite her age she considers herself an experienced campaigner.  

"At the start, when everyone said we must get more experience, I thought: 'experience, that's a boring word', but now I realise how important it is.  We are experienced even though we are 23 years old", said Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.  

Article/photos: http://www.nrk.no/sport/1990-generasjonen-har-suksess-1.11557902

It seems that most of Norway's medal winners are Liverpool FC supporters, and Ingvild Østberg (who plays football in the Norwegian women's second division) received a signed shirt from Jamie Carragher in the week.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:19:09 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Kalla the favourite
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2014, 07:30:37 PM »
Sweden's Charlotte Kalla has had a brilliant Olympics so far.  Gold in the relay and silver medals in both the 10k and 15k events have caused many to describe the 26-year-old as the favourite for Saturday morning's finale of the cross-country championship - the 30-kilometre.  "I have named a Swede as the favourite.  I think we have some outsiders that can compete for the medals", said the Norwegian team's trainer Egil Kristiansen to the press on Thursday.  

But success has come at a price for Kalla after some rumours about the mental and physical load she has had to carry for her country.  "She has been relaxing and has done alternative training.  She has not been on skis", said Sweden's trainer Rikard Grip to the Swedish paper Aftonbladet.

"Had I been at home in Sweden I would have rested more, but we are at the Olympics", said Kalla herself.  "I have not slept well and a lot of thoughts have been going round in my head".

Kalla was rested for the team sprint, in which Sweden's Ingemarsdotter and Nilsson took the bronze medal.  The plan is for her to join the rest of the team in a light ski trip today.  "She is feeling better and better.  Charlotte will be ready to compete for medals", said Grip.

Marit Bjørgen also has Kalla as the favourite.  "Charlotte has had some days off to clear her head.  I know her situation and there has been a lot of pressure", she said.  She knows Kalla well and they trained together before the present season, something they have done for several years.  "We had some tough sessions together and I noticed she had improved since a year ago.  She was quick in all the hard training we did", said Bjørgen.

Norway's runners for the 30k are: Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug, Kristin Størmer Steira and Heidi Weng.  

Englund Smørdal http://www.tv2.no/2014/02/20/sport/vintersport/ol/langrenn/5340983#.UwXGB_l2tZg

The 30k is on BBC2 from 09.30 on Saturday.
All the runners: http://www.nrk.no/sport/ol/?page=/cross-country/event/women-30km/phase=ccw730100/index.html

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« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 09:52:57 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2014, 12:43:38 AM »
Tempted to get up at 4:30am and watch this before a family breakfast watching the hockey final at 7:00am.

Bib #3 is Justyna Kowalczyk.

Offline Alan

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Norway 1-2-3
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2014, 10:54:31 AM »
The 30k was won by Marit Bjørgen in 1:11:05.2, Therese Johaug 2nd, 2.5 seconds back, while Kristin Størmer Steira took bronze 23.6 seconds back.  Kerttu Niskanen of Finland took 4th place, 1 min 21.7 behind the winner.

The three Norwegians went ahead of the field early in the race and opened a gap that left them in a tight group and out of sight to the others at times.  

Kristin Størmer Steira takes her first individual Olympic medal after winning a gold in the relay in Vancouver four years ago.  In previous Olympic games she has had four 4th-place finishes so today's medal is a big milestone in her career.  For Bjørgen this is her sixth Olympic gold and this is the first time that this event has been won by a Norwegian.

Heidi Weng stayed with the mortals and finished in 19th place.

"I have tried hard for so long.  It's a very long time since I won a medal at a championship", said Kristin Størmer Steira on TV2.

Photos: http://www.vg.no/bildespesial/spesial.php?id=11417

Dagen idag, den kan bli vår beste dag
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 08:57:34 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Success for Norway in the 30k
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2014, 02:15:03 PM »
Marit Bjørgen beat Therese Johaug into second place in the end, while Kristin Størmer Steira took the bronze medal that had eluded her for so many years.

"This distance has been a target for me this season.  This has been a dream and I achieved it", said Bjørgen (33) after taking her third gold at Sochi.  "30k is the distance I most wanted to win at the Olympics.  I felt really good waking up today, it felt like a good day and I felt ready for it", she told TV2 after the race.  "We had a downturn after the relay but that's forgotten now".

"Marit is a fantastic athlete.  She is the greatest and I am very happy she has another gold from these games.  I have looked up to her since I was ten, she is part of our team and a very good friend.  I am very happy for her", said Therese Johaug at the press conference.  "I am really pleased with the run and the team effort.  We had gone hardly ten kilometres when we took a lead, and we used it as a team", Johaug told TV2.

Steira at last has taken an individual Olympic medal, and smiled broadly at the finish.  "I had a very bad day in the duathlon and I don't know what went wrong.  I have kept quiet about my thoughts that it was just a bad day, and I have confirmed it here today", said Steira to TV2.  "It went pretty well as far as 25k, but I had enough to do to stay in it and run evenly.  That is really my strength.  I had hopes of being able to do a quick finish, but couldn't manage it", said Steira, who ran out of the energy needed to compete for a win.

It quickly became clear that the Norwegians were having a good day and would live up to the heavy expectations placed on them.  After ten kilometres Bjørgen, Steira and Johaug drove away from the rest of the field, and they raced together in full control until the time came for them to contest the medal places among themselves.  At 20 kilometres the trainers wanted them to change skis, but they sped past the ski station and the outstretched arms of the preparation team.  

With a 50-second gap behind them it was not a reckless gamble to continue with the same skis.  "Therese and I decided not to change skis", said Steira.  "Marit was undecided, but she looked round and obviously thought that if she stopped, we would get away.  We got the message from the trainers at 15-17 kilometres that we should change skis, but we shouted back that we were not going to", said Steira at the press conference.  

At 28 kilometres Steira accepted that she would have to settle for bronze and that her teammates would battle for gold.  The ski trip with friends turned into a battle for supremacy.  Johaug made the first move but at 29 kilometres Bjørgen established a lead of several metres, which Johaug could not answer.  Bjørgen now has six golds in total plus three silvers and a bronze, which makes her the most successful woman at the Winter Olympics.  

http://www.vg.no/sport/ol-2014/artikkel.php?artid=10145475  

Norway's cross-country ski results:
15k duathlon: gold Marit Bjørgen, bronze Heidi Weng
Sprint: gold Maiken Caspersen Falla, silver Ingvild Flugstad Østberg
10k classic: bronze Therese Johaug
Relay (5th)
Team Sprint: gold Bjørgen & Østberg
30k: gold Bjørgen, silver Johaug, bronze Kristin Størmer Steira.

Gold 4, silver 2, bronze 3.  
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 09:07:05 AM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2014, 03:09:36 PM »
A clean sweep, and some great salve for the wounds.  They've really turned things around.  I woke up and watched the first 5k and then fell back asleep on the sofa.  Charlotte Kalla was right with them at that point.  What blew my mind was how fast they were going, I think it was 11 minutes or something ridiculous like that.  It was like they were sprinting.

Hopefully the men can close out the 50k tomorrow with something special as well.

Offline Alan

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Steira's success after years of trying
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2014, 05:00:53 PM »
Kristin Størmer Steira (32) got a good hug from her father Kjell Arne Steira today after her first individual Olympic medal - six years after he persuaded his daughter to continue her skiing career.

After four 4th-place finishes in previous games Steira reached her goal at last, and there were tears when she met her parents after the race.  "I'm so glad you're here", she told them.  She is well known for finishing in the bitter fourth place, the winner among all those who do not get a medal.  At the Olympics it has always been 'nearly'.  So it was a sweet moment for the family from East Finnmark when Steira took bronze in the grand finale of the women's competition in Sochi, the 'tremila'.

"This is a big day for me", she told NRK.no.  "I have tried so many times without success.  I have medals from the World Cup series, but the Olympics are special".  In 2006 in Turin she had three 4th-places, but her worst experience came in the Vancouver games four years ago when she was tipped for bronze in the final stages of the 15-kilometre duathlon but narrowly beaten by Justyna Kowalczyk in a photo-finish.

One of her worst moments came after a poor finish in a World-Cup event in Italy in 2008.  "I shared a room with Therese (Johaug) and sat on my bed weeping.  I said to her, 'I don't want any more of this'".  Then her father phoned.

"I was at the junior Norwegian championship with our youngest daughter", said Kjell Arne Steira.  "I said we would say no more about skiing until she had calmed down, come home and done some ski trips in fine weather.  'Then you will see if you want to continue', I said".

Six years later Steira said there was a party that night in Bormio, which helped her mood.  "We had a good party and the next day I felt all right to continue", she smiled.  But the road to Sochi has been a long one and the tears rolled when she met her parents today.  "When I realised there would be a medal I thought it would be an experience that no-one would begrudge Kristin.  This bronze is as good as a gold for her", said Kjell Arne Steira.

Today's bronze-winner did not allow herself to think of a medal before the final slope.  "I have tried many times for a good day when the skis run perfectly.  Now it's happened I can only go round smiling", said Kristin Størmer Steira.

Anders Rove Bentsen http://www.nrk.no/sport/steira-tok-etterlengtet-medalje-1.11562761  
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 05:23:58 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2014, 11:16:37 AM »
After becoming history's best woman Winter Olympian on Saturday by winning the 30-kilometre cross-country event, Marit Bjørgen said that it is unlikely she will be competing in the next Olympics in 2018.  "The years are going by and I would like to start a family.  I have already said that I would not want to come back if I eventually become a mother because I could not give it my full concentration", said Bjørgen to NRK.no.

NRK expert Fred Børre Lundberg, a former Olympic champion, has been her partner for many years, and admitted that a family had been a theme that they had discussed.  "We talked about it to each other but she must keep on with skiing as long as she wants.  I am not pushing her one way or the other.  That's all I will say about it", said Lundberg.

While Marit Bjørgen has been enyjoying the highs and lows of Norway's fortunes in Sochi, her partner has been working for NRK in Oslo.  Bjørgen admitted that she was feeling very far down after the 10-kilometre and relay races, but then she staged a comeback with gold in the team sprint and the 30k.  "I was not worried after the 10k because it wasn't a bad run.  They finished 5th.  But it can quickly attack the confidence.  The win in the team sprint was very important", said Lundberg.  The mood was high after the 30k.  "I spoke a little with all of them and they were very pleased with the run.  They are looking forward to coming home, and I take that as a good sign", he smiled.

Although Bjørgen is not sure about 2018 she is looking forward hugely to the World Championships in Falun next year.  She will try to capture gold in the only event she has failed in so far, the 10k freestyle.  "It's difficult to sit here and say what will be happening in four years.  What is certain is that I am highly motivated for Falun.  Then we'll see", she said on Saturday.

First of all Bjørgen will be gunning for Therese Johaug's lead in the overall points total in this season's World Cup series.  Johaug has a 206-point lead over her teammate, while Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen is only 19 points in front of Bjørgen.  The contest continues in Lahti, Finland, next weekend with the sprint and the 10k freestyle.      

http://www.nrk.no/sport/samboer-lar-bjorgen-bestemme-1.11562977  
Arriving back at Gardermoen, video: http://www.nrk.no/sport/videoklipp/gulljentene-motatt-med-klem-og-gratulasjoner-1.11566986

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« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 09:42:03 PM by Alan »
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