Jerk or no jerk? Petter Northug with friend - photo: Northug.no
“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 skierpost.com, “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.