Slate Magazine asks, ‘is Petter Northug a jerk?’

You'd think Norwegian cross-country skiing ace Petter Northug would have enough on his plate, given his thus-far medalless Olympics. But now US magazine Slate has made it worse, rating him "certainly a jerk" in its really very funny Olympic Jerkwatch column.

Slate Magazine asks, 'is Petter Northug a jerk?'
Jerk or no jerk? Petter Northug with friend - photo:
“Eight out of 10 for Petter Northug Jr., who is certainly a jerk, but who, it must be noted, is also the most entertaining jerk I’ve covered thus far,” the column's author Justin Peters concluded, after running through a list of Northug's jerk-like activities. 
Peters based his conclusion on Northug's past as a “world class trash talker” — taunting Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf after vanquishing Sweden's skiers, and mocking Norway's Scandinavian rivals for their falling currency, and, most recently, promising Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin that he would “destroy his life so that he can never set foot on a sports track again.”
He also cites his highly un-Scandinavian brash grandstanding, as  exemplified by his latest musical outing, “Jävla norrbagge,” or “Fucking Norwegian,” in which, according to, “Northug sums up some of the highlights in his career”, and his own reality TV show Sirkus Northug. 
He also makes  a glancing mention of the photo Northug has on his website of him with his arm draped around a blow-up doll (Peters doesn't know it but it's probably a jokey reference to the debate in Norway over whether Northug is single or not). 
Perhaps out of kindness, perhaps ignorance, Peters doesn't even mention Northug's lacklustre performance over the last couple of weeks. 

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Norway ski star admits drug problems after cocaine bust

Following a speeding offence which led to a house search that found cocaine, former Norwegian cross-country ski star Petter Northug, said on Friday he had a "serious problem" with alcohol and drugs.

Norway ski star admits drug problems after cocaine bust
Petter Northug admits 'serious problems' at a press conference on Friday. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Police clocked Northug at 168 kilometres per hour (105mph) at the wheel of his Jaguar near Oslo on August 13.
Suspecting that he was driving under the influence – the tests have not yet been processed – police searched Northug's home and found the cocaine.   
“I have a serious problem with alcohol, drugs and medication in connection with, at times, big parties and there have been a lot of parties,” the 34-year-old told a press conference. 
Apologising “to all concerned”, he said he was “ready to accept the sentence”, after he is tried.
In 2014, Northug was jailed for 50 days, a sentence mostly served with an electronic bracelet, fined and banned from driving for five years, after crashing while driving under the influence.
On Friday, he said the alcohol and drug problems began after his retirement from sport in 2018. He said he has sought professional help.
Among the best cross-country skiers in history, Northug won four Olympic medals, all in 2010 and including two golds. He collected 13 World Championship golds between 2007 and 2015 and won three World Cup globes, including two as overall champion.