Trio share 'Norwegian of the year' award

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Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix
17:39 CET+01:00
An Utøya massacre survivor, a heroic tourist, and an environmental activist have been jointly awarded the "Norwegian of the Year" prize for 2011.

Prableen Kaur, 18, Marcel Gleffe, 32, and Synnøve Kvamme, 20, were announced as the winners by weekly magazine Ny Tid in a ceremony on Thursday at the House of Literature in Oslo.

Prableen Kaur, the deputy head of the Labour Party’s youth wing in Oslo, played dead for more than an hour and a half as far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik went on a murderous shooting spree on the island of Utøya, killing 69 people.

A month and a half after the worst peacetime atrocity in Norway’s history, Kaur became the youngest ever person to be elected to Oslo City Council.

Marcel Gleffe, a German who has lived in Norway for several years, was holidaying with his parents at Utvika on the mainland when he heard shots being fired on nearby Utøya.

When Gleffe saw people desperately trying to swim to safety, he quickly jumped into a boat and soon began hauling survivors onto his small craft.

Managing to rescue around six people at a time, Gleffe made multiple trips – officials say he likely rescued around 30 survivors in all. He continued his efforts until police showed up at the island, more than an hour after the shooting started.

The third recipient, Synnøve Kvamme, headed up a series of non-violent demonstrations this year against the construction of electricity pylons, dubbed “monster masts”, in scenic Hardanger in western Norway.

The demos represented the largest manifestation of civil disobedience in Norway in the last 30 years.

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