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Danish TV: During Sochi, 'we're all Swedish'

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Danish TV: During Sochi, 'we're all Swedish'
Denmark's team at the opening ceremony for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, before going on to take home no medals: Photo: Jude Freeman
10:31 CET+01:00
Denmark's national TV channel has instructed viewers to cheer for Swedish athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next week, in a move likely to have irked some of their Norwegian neighbours.
At the end of a promotional video for the channel's Olympics coverage, the narrator's voice concludes: "And for the next couple of weeks, we are all Swedish." 
 
Nanna Bernth, DR's creative director, said the channel had decided to side with the Swedes simply because they were less likely to do well. 
 
"The Swedes need it more than you," she told VG newspaper. "Since the Norwegians are so good, we thought we'd lean a little to the Swedish side to get the feeling of being part of the Olympic fun."
 
She acknowledged that the Danes, whose inept skiers are a often mocked on the slopes of Sweden and Norway, could not expect to see much success. 
 
"We are very aware that we are not so good at winter sports," she said. "Our Swedish neighbours are substantially better and therefore we are supporting them." 
 
Sjur Molven, executive editor for sports at Norway's NRK channel, said he had "no trouble" with the Danish decision. 
 
"It's always nice to support the underdog," he said. "I can see why the Danish might be interested in supporting our fellow Scandinavians this time round, because Norway has been dominating to a degree that people find troublesome." 
 
"Even though I hope for Norwegian medals, it wouldn't be a disadvantage to the sport if they were spread out more evenly. In the long run it's not good if one country wins too many medals." 
 
The last time Denmark won a medal in the Winter Olympics was in 1998, when the women's curling team took silver. 
 
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