After a disastrous weekend for Norwegian cross country skiing at the Sochi Olympics, the team’s chief ski technician is crying sabotage.
Knut Nystad said at his press conference on Monday that an unnamed supplier was withholding technologically superior ski equipment from the Norwegian team and giving it to their rivals.
Because Norway is so dominant, Nystad says.
“We have received confirmation that others have things that we have not received,” Nystad claimed, according to the Local. “There’s always been talk that Norway is dominant. Now they have a chance to create alternative winners, which in the long-term is positive for the sport. But it’s damn annoying.”
After the men’s relay team missed the podium on Sunday, multiple skiers complained that the wax on their skis — which is massively important in cross country — was inferior to Sweden’s.
“When the skis are that bad, it’s just awful. It’s not fun to race when it’s like this,” one Norwegian told the AFP.
Nystad told Norwegian TV on Saturday, “The way it looks now, it’s absolutely a crisis. This is a tragedy.”
Swix, the main equipment supplier for Norway and a number of other cross country teams, denied Nystad’s claim. The company told Nettavision that Nystad was offered the same supplies as the rest of the competition, but refused to use them.
Cross country is Norway’s national past time.
While they’ve won seven medals in eight events in Sochi, including three golds, it has still been a massive disappointment. The team hit rock bottom this weekend when both the men and women failed to medal in the team relays, losing to the hated Swedes in the process.
Because of the resources devoted to the sport in the country, Norway has traditionally had superior skis every time they race
This year, it has been different, and it’s a crisis.
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