I have a confession to make. I’ve been living in Norway, the most successful country in Winter Olympic history, for ages now but I have never, ever been able to get into these sports. Of course the hysteria about the games has monopolized headlines, both sports and news, and pushed almost everything else off the agenda for a while. And now things have got even worse.
The latest winter sports media frenzy is over the inauguration of the new Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, an icon of the discipline and the city. The first person to jump at the new ‘kollen was Anette Sagen, the sweet and smiling face of women’s ski jumping in Norway, a darling of the public, and a tireless warrior for the right to jump. The international state of the women’s sport is an amazing anachronism, where authorities regularly prevent them from competing properly, on the pretense of trying to prevent the dears from getting hurt.
Well anyway, there was an almighty uproar and the media has been incessantly foaming at the mouth for days now with no end in sight. Because, you see, someone managed to get one of Norway’s top ski jumpers — male – to test the jump first, thereby tarnishing, to say the least, the historic and symbolic honor of letting Sagen break Holmenkollen in.
I refer you to the necessary in-depth coverage at my former colleague Nina Berglund’s site, Views and News from Norway, which is carrying the torch forward from the former Aftenposten News in English service where we labored so long. There you can learn about the mess in detail, with all the scandal, recriminations and infighting.
Here, I will instead let a discreet veil fall over the whole affair, and give you a wonderful link instead, a video from the new Holmenkollen, shot with a camera attached to the helmet of a test jumper. This is a cool way to experience the jump, though I was shocked by how quickly it was all over.
Finally, I do have to confess that I find the curling fun to watch, and did even before Norway made the sport even more of a cult event by kitting out their men’s team in ‘clown trousers’.
Recent reports say that the silver medalists have been overwhelmed by the massive public interest in them, but they are getting tired of almost only being photographed from the waist down.
But the merchandising has begun – cast your eyes on the start of the collection.