• Norway's news in English
 

'Suppliers denied Norway ski wax to help rivals'

Published: 17 Feb 2014 10:43 GMT+01:00

"We have received confirmation that others have things that we have not received," Knut Nystad said in a news conference in Sochi, although he refused to name the offending supplier. 
 
"There's always been talk that Norway is dominant," he said explaining why the product has been withheld. "Now they have a chance to create alternative winners, which in the long-term is positive for the sport. But it's damn annoying." 
 
Norway's men's relay team, the favourite before the games started, finished the course in a disappointing fourth place on Sunday, behind Sweden, Russia and France, while the women's team managed only fifth place on Saturday. 
 
Even Marcus Hellner, who led the victorious Swedish team generously said Sweden's superior waxing had played a part. 
 
“The waxing is very tough and makes a very big difference on this snow,” he told a news conference. “We have succeeded here with our skis. That’s a big reason for our success.”
 
Eldar Rønning, one of the Norwegian team, said his skis had become extremely heavy after the first three kilometres -- the same experience the country's women's team reported on Saturday. 
 
“I think it’s the same as yesterday. The skis were OK for the first two to three kilometres,” he said. "This morning I was feeling OK but after three kilometres the skis felt very heavy. I pressed all the speed out of my skis.”
 
Nystad called an emergency meeting of technicians and ski personnel on Sunday after disastrous performances in both the men's and the women's cross country relays over the weekend saw him take much of the blame. 
 
"The way it looks now, it's absolutely a crisis," told Norway's TV2 network after the women came in fifth on Saturday. "This is a tragedy." 
 
"We were once perhaps the world's best ski-wax team," he said later. "but we are not the world's best ski-wax team now." 
 
The fact that Norwegian ski star Petter Northug pulled off one of his better performances in the relay --  using different wax from his colleagues and rejecting some of the equipment provided by Norway's technicians - provided further evidence against the technicians. 
 
"I had good skis, so it went well for me," Northug told NRK. "I heard (from teammates) that it felt wrong." 
 
Nystad on Sunday said that, with no cross-country races scheduled until the Ladies' Team Sprint Semifinal on Wednesday, he hoped to solve the problem. 
 
"We now have two days where there is no competition," he said. "Now we're going to start from the bottom up. We're going start at zero again tomorrow and just prepare for the next race," he said. 
 
Meanwhile, the question of whether the wax can take all the blame for Norway's disappointing performance has become such a huge debate in Norway that the country's Prime Minister has weighed in on the issue, although she stopped short of promising government money for wax research. 
 
"It's either the skis, the wax, or something else which is not quite right," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday when asked about the men's relay. 
 
"No, I do not think it is the treasury's responsibility to fund this," she said. 
 
At the same time former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told TV2 that he had been skiing on waxless skis on Sunday. 
 
"Today I have been skiing on that kind of waxless skis," he said. "I can really recommend them." 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Poo problem at Norway’s Pulpit Rock
Pulpit Rock is about 25m squared and almost completely flat. Photo: amanderson2/Flickr

Poo problem at Norway’s Pulpit Rock

Norway’s most visited natural tourist attractions Pulpit Rock is faced with a delicate problem: tourists pooing in the bushes on the the way up and down. READ  

Norwegian skiers test if altitude is like doping
The skiers travel down into the valley every day by cable car. Photo: matramurena/Flickr

Norwegian skiers test if altitude is like doping

Eleven Norwegian downhill skiers are spending a month living at 2,200m while training deep in a valley to test whether high altitude training has a similar effect on performance to doping. READ  

Norway starts school for Vikings
A Viking longship burning at the end of Edinburgh's Torchlight Procession. Photo: viking2

Norway starts school for Vikings

A Norwegian further education college is starting a programme for want-to-be Vikings where students will learn essential Viking crafts, such as sword forging, jewellery making, and roof thatching. READ  

Svalbard brews world's most northerly beer
The beer will be most packaged in cans so it can be carried by locals ad tourists on Polar excursions. Photo: Svalbard Bryggeri AS

Svalbard brews world's most northerly beer

A pioneering beer maker on the Arctic island of Svalbard has started producing what will be the world’s most northerly brewed beer, after local authorities removed an 80-year brewing ban. READ  

Norway's Søl beer in war with Mexican giant
Senja Øl Bryggeri's Søl label net to the Mexican beer. Photo: Senja Øl Bryggeri

Norway's Søl beer in war with Mexican giant

A tiny microbrewery in far northern Norway has entered a trademark war with global brewing company Heineken, because its name and logo Søl is too close to that of its Mexican beer brand Sol. READ  

Norwegian mental patient held in French jail
The Charles III prison in Nancy (not where the Norwegian mental patient is imprisoned). Photo: alainalele/Flickr

Norwegian mental patient held in French jail

A mentally ill Norwegian man has been held in a French prison for six months awaiting extradition to Norway due to grindingly slow French bureaucracy. READ  

Remorseful wedding thief confesses to police
The community of Bryggja, where the fateful wedding took place. Photo: Bryggja.no

Remorseful wedding thief confesses to police

One of the gang which raided the gift table at a wedding in northern Norway last Saturday became so overcome with remorse after his crime was reported that he has handed himself in to the local police. READ  

Norway-led team prove Ebola vaccine works
A unicef Ebola facility in Liberia. Photo: WHO/Christopher Bailey

Norway-led team prove Ebola vaccine works

A Norwegian-led research team has developed what is likely to be the first effective vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus, that has killed more than 11,000 people in the still ongoing outbreak in West Africa. READ  

Norway couple spend year living outdoors
Elise Theoline and Andreas Skagøy pose for a photo posted on Instagram. Photo: Instagram

Norway couple spend year living outdoors

A Norwegian couple has spent an entire year outdoors in the country's far north, sleeping in tents, bivouacs, and huts, and living mainly off hunting, fishing and foraging. READ  

Norway inmates face pornography curbs
Skien prison, where prisoners have unfettered access to pornography. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

Norway inmates face pornography curbs

Norway's prisoners may have to make do with less porn after the country's prison authorities ruled that inmates can be denied access to titillating material if it "threatens peace, order and security". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
National
The oddest TripAdvisor comments about Norway
National
Experts baffled by freak downpour in Norway
National
Dude, where's my house? Avalanche smashes Norway farmhouse
Culture
VIDEO: Norway artist's naked tree stunt goes awry
Health
Norway scientists find secret behind gluten intolerance
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
National
Oslo is the crystal meth capital of Europe
Sport
VIDEO: Man in Norway catches fish too big for boat
International
'Snowden could come to Norway to collect prize'
Technology
Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
Culture
World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,223
jobs available