Author Topic: Winter Olympics 2014  (Read 17230 times)

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2014, 05:51:14 PM »
Some things money can't buy, but it must be a temporary thing to have just the right group of Norwegians together just now.  Eight years ago Bjørgen was on the point of giving up after not getting close in any of the races.  If it was just the environment the Swedes and Finns should match the Norwegians, but occasionally all the indefinable factors come together at once.  With the US team you have to look at the number of Americans who grow up in the mountains rather than the whole population. 
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Offline Alan

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Gold for Falla
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2014, 06:19:31 PM »
Maiken Caspersen Falla took gold in the individual sprint event in Sochi today at the age of 23.  The girl from Fetsund outsprinted Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Solvenian Vesna Fabjan in Laura ski stadium.  As in the prologue and the heats Caspersen Falla took command from the start and held on to her lead throughout the 1.3-kilometre sprint course and crossed the finishing line first.  

Romerikes Blad met the gold medal winner in jubilant mood in Sochi.  "This is quite unreal, as if I have watched something on TV that I never believed would happen to me.  I am extremely pleased and this is the best day of my career.  It has happened in a season in which I have been in good form, but I never thought it would go so well", said the new Olympic winner to rb.no.

Caspersen Falla told how she watched the Olympics as a child and dreamed of winning.  "I never expected it to be a reality.  It's unreal", she said.  The 23-year-old from Fetsund had found it difficult to eat breakfast after rising at 09.30 Russian time.  "I alway struggle to eat breakfast on race days.  In a way that is positive because it means I am properly keyed up for the contest", she said.  "It was difficult to get food down, and it was a long time to wait because the racing did not start until 14.00 local time", she said.

She had been given shirt #5 in the prologue and clocked up the fastest time of 2 minutes 32.07, which none of the other competitors could match.  She was also the quickest in the quarter- and semifinals, and that was when she knew she might win gold.  "Several favourites dropped out and I knew there was a chance, but at the same time I didn't focus on that.  Ingvild and I talked about it before the Final and we were able to relax about it.  I would have been happy with a top-six place and this helped me to settle down before the Final", she said.

In Canada four years ago Caspersen Falla finished in 20th place, but the expectations were much higher this time for the girl who sprinted to World-Cup bronze last year.  She felt well prepared to fight for a medal.  From the quarter-finals onwards when she slid over the finishing-line the Fetsund girl was in charge of the competition.  "I have learned that I have to make the decisions about the run.  My goal from the start was to take charge immediately and hold on.  When you are behind, others can wreck your race.  I wanted to avoid that and I was pleased with how I steered the tactics", she said.

During the last few days she has had a good feeling about the Laura Stadium.  "It has worked well for me.  On the climb and on the final bend I felt I was in control", she said.

Caspersen Falla has become the ninth Romeriken to win Olympic gold.  Today's medal is Romerike's 19th Olympic gold in history.  

Romerikes Blad, Lillestrøm http://www.rb.no/ol/article7163054.ece

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (27) had some words for the press on Tuesday after keeping a low profile for several days.  "I think I am the happiest fourth-placed racer in Sochi and it was tremendous that Ola, Maiken and Ingvild did so well", she said.  Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ola Vigen Hattestad took gold medals for Norway in the women's and men's sprint.

Jacobsen broke a ski pole during the Final but did not want make that into an issue.  "The broken pole might have prevented me reaching a medal, but a lost medal is not so important today.  For me it has been a win to go out and mobilise my powers to perform in ski sport", she said.

http://www.vg.no/sport/artikkel.php?artid=10129372

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« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 10:14:10 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Our silver girl
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2014, 10:21:56 PM »
Gjøvik girl Ingvild Flugstad Østberg took Olympic silver in Tuesday's sprint in Sochi.  The successful silver medal winner spoke to NRK after the Final.

"I am so utterly relieved and glad! I have always said that a medal was the goal.  Everything must be right to reach the podium in the sprint.  It's an unreal dream that has been fulfilled", said Ingvild Flugstad Østberg to NRK.

The former division-1 footballer who now plays with Raufoss in division-2 was more than happy with second place.  "Silver is like a gold medal for me", she said.  Maiken Caspersen Falla took the gold and Flugstad Østberg finished in second place.  She kept fans waiting for the result of a photo-finish.  Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen finished in fourth place despite breaking a ski pole.  Ingvild Flugstad Østberg controlled her semifinal heat, staying in front all the way.  Marit Bjørgen had a fall and did not reach the Final.  

The Gjøvik girl was involved in drama in her quarter-final when she was side-by-side with Laurent when the Italian fell and went out.  That race also ended in a photo-finish between Østberg and Sweden's Ida Ingemarsdotter, but both racers went forward to the semifinals.

Østberg ran in her very first Olympic Final today but the trainers were in no doubt about her readiness for top-level competition.  The 23-year-old has shown before that she can compete, with eight golds in the juniors.  "I tried to prepare myself as usual before this race, but I could not forget it was the Olympics", she said.  "For me it's my first time, and just to be here is a huge experience.  At the same time I am ambitious for good results".

Sprint chief Roar Hjelmeset was a hundred per cent certain that the Gjøvik girl would take the challenge head-on.  "Remember she was at the Liberec World Cup in 2009 and Val di Fiemme (Tour de Ski) in the winter.  The step up to the Olympics is not a big one", he said.  "Ingvild is fantastic in the way she loves being out on tour.  It's a good thing, except that of course you can't be out on tour the whole time".      

Østberg was optimistic before today's race.  "I would absolutely say that Marit is one of the favourites.  She has already shown top form.  But there are also many others - Swedes and Slovenians", she said.  "It would be stupid to just go for silver".

Her teammates in today's race were Maiken Caspersen Falla, Marit Bjørgen and Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen who on Monday decided to stay in Sochi despite the tragic death of her brother on Friday.  "What has happened has affected us all.  We support each other and try as well as we can to focus on the sport.  I think we will manage it".  

Stian Grythaugen, ANB
Oppland Arbeiderblad, Gjøvik
http://www.oa.no/sport/article7161649.ece  
Photos: http://www.oa.no/sport/article7163033.ece
Below: Igvild F. Østberg, the pride of Gjøvik:

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« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 10:22:39 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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10-kilometre on Thursday
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2014, 10:05:47 PM »
Thursday's race in cross country is the 10k in classic style with a staggered start.  There are 76 runners departing at 30-second intervals in order of their shirt-number, with the first pushing off at 10.00.30 (UK time).

#24 Anna Haag of Sweden starts at 10.12.  Finland's Anna Kylloenen starts at 10.18 followed by Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Krista Lahteenmaki.  Charlotte Kalla from Sweden has a start time of 10.20 and Norway's first starter is Heidi Weng at 10.21 followed by Justyna Kowalczyk, Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen, Marit Bjørgen and then #46 Therese Johaug at 10.23.  The last start is at 10.38.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 10:44:02 AM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2014, 03:37:40 AM »
On the men's side, I wonder how the Norwegian Ski Federation feels now about dropping the young and already qualified far-northerner Finn Haagen Krogh for Peter Northug, who has already been dropped from the 15k on the weekend for poor results in the first two events.

A more happy ending in a similar vein is Canadian Gilmore Junio who gave up his 1000m long-track spot yesterday to teammate Denny Morrison for today's race.  Morrison claimed a silver in it today, the country's first 1000m men's medal in 30 years.

"Denny and I are made of the same fabric - we both want to win and represent our country at a level that reflects that passion” said Junio, who finished third in the distance at the Canadian Olympic Team trials back in December [Morrison caught an edge and slid over the finish line in fifth]. While the decision was a tough one to make, Junio felt that “I believe it’s in the best interest of the team if he races. To represent Canada at the Olympics is a huge honour and privilege but I believe that as Canadians, we’re not just here to compete; we are here to win."
- Gilmore Junio

Pretty wise words from a 23 year old.

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2014, 09:52:47 AM »
Northug has had support from John Arne Riise who said it's typically Norwegian to turn on stars when they have a drop in form: 'Petter, you are my idol'.
http://www.tv2.no/2014/02/12/sport/vintersport/ol/sotsji/5313536
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Offline Alan

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Johaug takes bronze behind Kowalczyk and Kalla
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2014, 07:27:55 PM »
"The more diffcult it gets, the better it is for me", smiled Therese Johaug after earning a bronze medal in the 10-km classic today.  A tearful Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland took gold and Charlotte Kalla of Sweden the silver. It was Johaug's first-ever individual Olympic medal and just the piece of luck she needed after a fourth-place finish in earlier in the week.  Now her attention switches to the 30-kilometre, the 'tremila'.

"I am looking forward very much to the tremila.  Now I have achieved a fourth and a third, and I am ready for the 30k which has been my best distance and the one I have trained for", Johaug told NRK.no.  She won the 30k at home at Holmenkollen in the World Championships in 2011, in front of a home crowd of 100,000.  

"I must admit I dream of an individual gold medal, and I have statistics on my side.  I have had good results in the 30k in recent years, so the chance is there", said the 25-year-old.

Perhaps her toughest competitor of all is Sweden's Charlotte Kalla.  Kalla has already won two silver medals at the Sochi Olympics and is another athlete who considers 30k her best distance.

The 10k run today was a lesson for all Norway's team, with most of the course bathed in sunlight.  Norway had their first drink station at a 10k run.  "It was really warm today.  It will be vitally important to have the right drink stations.  You need to drink a lot and stay in the shade whenever you can", said Therese Johaug.  

Article, photos and a full list of results of today's race: http://www.nrk.no/sport/johaug-ser-frem-til-tremila-1.11541956
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2014, 08:17:10 PM »
Quote
... turn on stars when they have a drop in form: 'Petter, you are my idol'.

Had the spot not been promised to someone else I would agree.  The problem is it was.

Offline Alan

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5k relay Saturday
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2014, 09:59:16 PM »
Norway's team in Sochi for the sprint relay on Saturday 4 x 5 km is Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug, Astrid U. Jacobsen and Marit Bjørgen.

Eurosport covers the ski season very well each year but lost the Olympics to the BBC this time, so viewers can watch Ice Hockey this morning.

Great that Tina Maze took gold in the women's downhill today in Sochi, also great that she shared it with Dominique Gisin, who had a spectacular 100 mph fall in the same event in 2010 in Vancouver. I remember four years ago the crowd going silent as they watched, and the roar that went up when she eventually sat up.
Gisin's 2010 run is at 34:15 on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-PhtxIWD_M
She is a pilot in the Swiss air force and I thought at the time that any crash is good when you walk away.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 09:44:43 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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5k results
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
Sweden's Charlotte Kalla started a long way back on the fourth and last leg of the relay behind Finland's Krista Lahteenmaki and Germany's Denise Hermann.  In the final kilometres Kalla reeled them in slowly and in an exciting finish she went past to take gold.  

Finland took sliver and Germany bronze, with France 4th and Norway 5th.  Heidi Weng commented: "I didn't feel too bad today.  It's very rare for both me and Therese have a bad day at the same time.  It's difficult to blame the skis but there was something strange.  It's strange that Therese couldn't keep up with Emma (Wiken, Sweden) who has taken hardly any World Cup points this season".  A photo after the race showed Johaug's skis with clumps of ice on the runners.    

Norway's team leader admitted that the skis had been badly prepared for today's race.  But a great race and a top performance from Charlotte Kalla who now has a gold medal to add to her two individual silvers from Sochi.  With Finland and Germany in a duel for gold, Kalla made up ten seconds in the final 1.3 kilometres to overtake them both and win the race.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 03:56:25 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2014, 06:01:27 AM »
The knives are coming out and the critics are waxing poetic:

The outrage has reached such heights that Norway’s lead waxer, Knut Nystad, told one journalist: “Take us out behind the shed and shoot us” and told another newspaper that “my wife has (jokingly) told me that the best I can hope for now is that they fire me.”

http://www.canada.com/olympics/columns/fisher-norway-may-top-the-medal-table-but-critics-say-its-olympics-is-a-failure

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2014, 08:39:00 AM »
The knives are coming out and the critics are waxing poetic
It's the formula - simplify and exaggerate - and the Norwegian papers are no worse than in other places when the knives come out.  For me the outstanding performance was Charlotte Kalla's by taking gold after looking totally out of it when the fourth leg of the relay started.

Kalla started the last leg 25 seconds behind the leader, so she could see Lahteenmaki of Finland about 170-180 yards in front of her.  Any normal person watching would have said Kalla was deranged to even try it, but she tried it and won a gold medal.  That's what makes us watch sport, the unpredictable moment when something happens that's superhuman.

Interview: http://tv.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/sport/sportbladet-osextra/article33994.ab
Someone recorded the final part of the race off the TV screen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLiHSs4pxPY
Here's a better video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZRvhFeOpM
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 10:42:14 AM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2014, 05:15:58 PM »
Thanks for the link, what a machine.  It seemed in the end she was pulling herself past them with her arms.  I just realized why - she was:

http://www.girlswithmuscle.com/images/full/237321614.jpg

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2014, 06:29:45 PM »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2014, 08:17:26 PM »
Those vertical sit-ups will rip your abdominals to pieces.  She looks like a great role model.

Offline Alan

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Olafsen seriously injured
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2014, 09:39:37 AM »
Snowboarder Helene Olafsen suffered a cruciate ligament injury at Sochi and is considering retirement.  

Bronze at the X-games in January made Olafsen a hot candidate for a medal at Sochi but on Sunday she fell and a short time later the news came that her left ACL had been torn.  Now the 23-year-old says she is thinking of giving up.  "Yes, I must be honest enough to admit that", she told NRK.  This is not the first time she has had bad luck.  In the snowboard-cross final in Vancouver four years ago she fell and finished fourth and since then has had time out with several injuries.  

On Friday she was taken to hospital with a head injury, which was found to be not serious, and she continued to train for her event but then came the next fall.  Olafsen says the decision will not be made for a while.  "I can't take a final decision now, but will have to wait until my knee is recovered.  Ask me again in six months", she said.

Setbacks in the last two championships have been tough for her.  "It's terribly sad.  I can't descibe how it feels.  I feel completely empty", she said.  "I have thought I could be good enough to win the Olympics since I was small, maybe six years old.  Everything you do is a step towards that goal".  This injury is one of her toughest.  "My worst experiences so far have been the disappointment after the last Olympics and the last time I tore a cruciate ligament.  Now I have both happening at the same time", said the accident-prone athlete.

She is uncertain about representing Norway in four years' time.  "Perhaps I'll be there in Korea, I don't know.  Maybe I'll be a student, maybe I'll get a job.  I don't know", said Olafsen.

There have been many injuries among snowboarders this year, the worst one a broken vertebra for the Russian Maria Komissarova on Saturday.  Both the other Norwegian medal hopes, Kjersti Buaas and Torstein Horgmo, have had to pull out with injuries.  The half-pipe course was described by competitor Shaun White as "dangerous".

Siss Kløverød Andersen, Mads Håby
Article/pictures: http://www.nrk.no/sport/olafsen-inne-pa-tanken-om-a-gi-seg-1.11548749
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 09:42:08 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Team sprint for Bjørgen and Østberg
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2014, 06:44:03 PM »
Marit Bjørgen and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg will race for Norway in Wednesday's team sprint event, which leaves Maiken Caspersen Falla out despite her gold medal in the individual sprint last week.

"Ingvild has reached the podium in the last five international competitions.  In the sprint she finished second behind Maiken and she showed she is a good runner.  All in all we are hoping that this pairing will produce a good result", said sprint trainer Roar Hjelmeset at Monday's press conference in Sochi.  So there is no place for Olympic sprint champion Falla.  

"Maiken took this very well and understood the decision.  She is a super supporter", said the trainer.  He was in no doubt about selecting Marit Bjørgen, who said, "I decided today to go the distance.  I feel that I am ready".

"Everyone knows Marit's strength in sprint and all other distances.  Stamina is important", said Hjelmeset.  "She was an automatic choice for this provided she stayed in form, and she has done that by winning a gold medal".  The team sprint is in effect a six-leg relay with the two runners taking alternate legs in classic style.  The trainer would not say which of the two would take the first leg.  

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, who was beaten into second place by Falla in the individual sprint, is looking forward to going for gold with Bjørgen.  She made no secret of knowing that it could very well have been Falla who took the place beside Bjørgen for this event.  "When Maiken shows form and takes an Olympic gold it's obvious she could have run this race.  Both of us are excited and we talked about it.  Obviously we were both prepared to race or not to race", she said.  Both are 23 years old.

Hjelmeset explained the decision.  "The pair was selected after the relay.  Maiken was partly prepared for this because Ingvild has shown generally better form throughout the present season.  But when you take a gold medal you are on the cards", he said.  

Steinar Adre Danielsen, Anders Skjerdingstad
Article/photos: http://www.nrk.no/sport/bjorgen-og-ostberg-gar-lagsprinten-1.11549751
After the team sprint the final race for the cross-contry women is on Saturday, the 30-kilometre.

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« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 10:02:38 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2014, 12:30:51 PM »
Invild Flugstad Østberg (23) and Marit Bjørgen (33) took gold in the team sprint at Sochi today.

As expected it was a battle between Norway and Finland.  Østberg was evenly matched with Finland's veteran Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, while Bjørgen got the better of Kerttu Niskanen and took command in the second of six legs.  It was a sweet performance by Norway after the disappointing 5th-place finish in the relay last week.  

Østberg ran a good third leg and finished 1.6 seconds ahead of Finland, and then Bjørgen produced an even better fourth leg to send her teammate out with almost a 5-second lead on the fifth leg.  "She looked as if she had plenty of power in reserve", said Svein Tore Samal on TV 2.

Østberg did her job in the fifth leg and Bjørgen left for the last time with a 4½ second lead.  Norway's lead at the finish was 9.09 seconds over Finland and 19.77 seconds over the Swedish pair of Ida Ingemarsdotter and 20-year-old Stina Nilsson, who outraced the Germans at the end to take bronze.  

http://www.vg.no/sport/ol-2014/artikkel.php?artid=10129688
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 12:47:17 PM by Alan »
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Offline law10

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2014, 12:46:18 PM »
I've noticed they've been doing better lately.  Perhaps they've nailed the wax.

Offline Alan

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Re: Winter Olympics 2014
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2014, 12:49:08 PM »
I've noticed they've been doing better lately.  Perhaps they've nailed the wax.
Yes, they said on TV during the race that the skis were running very well.

Marit Bjørgen just said on TV that it has been very painful to read all the criticism of the ski preparation team, they have been working extremely hard, 5-6 hours longer than the other teams, and she sent her thanks to them.
 
The mayor of Østberg's home town of Gjøvik has just raised the Flag in the town centre: http://www.oa.no/sport/article7179940.ece  
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 01:16:55 PM by Alan »
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