Monday, February 13, 2006

The Olympics 2006 - Kjetil Andre Aamodt; Norwegian Wood

Germany had a weekend of light and shadow at the Olympics 2006 in Turino, Italy. Two gold medals, for Michael Greis in Biathlon and Georg Hettich in Nordic Combined, but also a lot of disappointments in Luge, Ski-Jumping, Cross Country Skiing and Speed Skating. Well, we are still second in the medal standings (U.S. is first, Norway third).

I have to admit that I will cross fingers for a Norwegian athlete. It is the skier Kjetil Andre Aamodt. He was born on September 2nd, 1971 in Oslo. That means he will turn 35 this year.
He is still competing and still among the best skiers of the world. Yesterday at the downhill race he missed a medal for 6 hundredth of a second. Tragically he had to withdraw from the combined event that will start today with an injured knee.
Probably he will not have the chance to increase his collection of medals. He is the only skier in history to win seven medals at the Olympics and another twelve medals at world championships. Nineteen (!) medals at international events will probably never be reached again by another skier in future times.
He has also won the overall worldcup in 1992 and several discipline worldcups in his career. I watched him for a long time and it was absolutely incredible how he managed to be in top shape when one of the international competitions took place.
Not him alone but also his companion Lasse Kjus, the second Norwegian "elk". He has won five Olympic medals and eleven medals at world championships. Kjus's greatest achievement may have occurred at the 1999 world championships, when he earned a medal in every one of the five Alpine events - two golds and three silvers. Aamodt and Kjus together have gained thirty-five medals. Isn't it good Norwegian wood?


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