Canoeist snags Norway’s first Olympic gold

Eirik Verås Larsen paddled his way to the Norway's first gold medal of the 2012 London Olympics in the K1 1,0000 metre race on Wednesday.

Canoeist snags Norway's first Olympic gold
Photo: Scanpix
The 36-year-old Norwegian claimed the fourth Olympic medal of his career after a dominant performance. When he rose up from the kayak, it was with a broad grin on his face.
"It's indescribable. Now I can retire with a clear conscience," he told NRK.
"I don't think it was going to happen. It has been a tough two years. To do this is fantastic."
Verås Larsen got a better start than expected and was at the front the whole way. Canadian Adam van Koeverden appeared the strongest for a while, but the Norwegian cam back strong in the final 250 metres.
The paddler from Flekkefjord crossed the line seven tenths of a second ahead of Van Koeverden, who ended up with silver. Bronze went to German Max Hoff.
The gold was Verås Larsen's second in the Olympic Games after winning the 1000-metre in Athens in 2004. In Beijing he claimed silver in the same distance and has taken a further bronze in the K2 1,000 metre event together with Nils Olav Fjeldheim in Athens
Team manager Jarle Aambø was rendered speechless by the veteran's second Olympic triumph.
"I am still a little shaky. My God what an incredible performer. I am speechless," Aambø said to NTB.

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Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics

Norway’s Telemark County wants to host the Winter Olympics in 2026.

Norway wants to host 2026 Winter Olympics
The opening ceremony at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. File photo: Bjørn Sigurdsøn / NTB scanpix

The county is preparing to bid for the event, leader of Telemark’s municipal sporting committee Geir Berge Nordtveit confirmed to NRK on Monday.

“I can confirm that we want to bring the Winter Olympics to Telemark,” Nordtveit said.

Preparations for the bid launch had been kept secret by the county municipality prior to Monday’s confirmation.

An official launch event is scheduled for Tuesday.

Telemark decided to throw its hat into the ring for the event after Austrian city Innsbruck decided not to bid, according to NRK.

Next year’s Winter Olympics will be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, with the 2022 games to be hosted in Beijing.

Telemark will also ask neighbouring counties Buskerud and Vestfold to contribute to the bid, reports NRK.

As such, the bid will include events in different locations across Telemark, and perhaps beyond, rather than hosting all events in the same city wherever possible – the model currently used.

Norway previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1994, when Lillehammer in Oppland county was the host city.

READ ALSO: Norway sceptical about new Olympic bid