- Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger gave the skiathlon field a huge head start when he fell and broke a pole in the first 200 meters, falling to last place with 29 kilometers to go.
- He picked the other 67 racers off one at a time and with about 5 km to go he took the lead.
- He eventually built up a Ledeckian lead and coasted to an easy win in his first-ever Olympic event.
Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger gave the rest of the field in the skiathlon a huge head start and in the end it didn’t matter as he still coasted to an easy and incredible gold medal during his first-ever Olympic event.
In the first 200 meters of the 30 kilometer race, the 68-skier field started in rows. Krueger appeared to get tripped from behind and he went down hard.
Two other skiers got tangled up with Krueger and landed on top of him.
Krueger immediately fell to last place and had to exude extra energy just getting back up restarting.
On top of that, he broke a pole. He discarded it and had to have it replaced.
Over the next 22 kilometers, Krueger methodically, and seemingly easily, passed 62 other racers to move into fifth place with 8 km to go.
Then, with about 12 minutes to go in the race, Krueger took the lead.
He had passed 67 other skiers with time to spare.
But he wasn’t done.
In a performance that can best be described as some combination of awesome, courageous, and (Katie) Ledeckian, Krueger put distance between himself and the rest of the field.
At one point, his lead grew to 22 seconds and the other skiers could barely be seen in the screen.
Even Krueger was surprised at how dominating he was.
“I knew that my chance was to go early, try to surprise the group,” Krueger said. “When I got those meters, I had to go for it. I did not believe it when I turned and there was no one there. I just had to keep pushing forward until the final.”
In the end, Krueger coasted across the finish line for the gold.
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