Home > Winter > Can Northug Catch Daehlie?

Can Northug Catch Daehlie?

Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie is an icon in his homeland, in his sport (cross-country) and in all of winter Olympic lore. He is also the most decorated winter Olympian ever, having won 12 career medals (8 Gold, 4 Silver) over the course of three Olympics. NBC’s cross country skiing analyst Chad Salmela told a story during the 50k race on Sunday of how during a race Daehlie’s ski fell off when he was at the top of a hill, the ski slid all the way down the hill forcing him to go get it….and Daehlie still won the race. The guy is a legend.

Now, enter Petter Northug. The brash 24 year old (once, when being told the King of Norway was here to see him he said “no, the king is right here” while pointing at himself) just finished his first games (should have been his second) by winning 4 medals (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze). Northug probably has two Olympics left in him. He might physically be able to do three, but because Norway is such a strong cross country skiing nation there will be undoubtedly be younger skiiers who take his spot in 8 years.

A look at his chances of passing Daehlie after the jump:

Daehlie’s medal breakdown went thusly:

1st Olympics – 4 medals

2nd Olympics – 5 medals

3rd Olympics – 3 medals

Daehlie was also 24 at his first Olympics, but he got extremely lucky in that his second Olympics was just 2 years later, because the Summer and Winter Olympics were previously held in the same year (that would be a fun year, but a loooooong 3 year wait, no?) and were broken up by the 1994 Lillehammer games.

Because of this, Northug will have to at least equal Daehlie’s output in his second games. You can count on a medal in the relay for Norway and in the team sprint. He broke a pole in one of his other races, so perhaps a medal there. I think 5 is really the maximum amount of medals we can count on from Northug.

So it will come down to his third games. Again, two relay medals are near certainties, so he will likely need just 2 individual medals to surpass Daehlie. Honestly, I think Northug will do it. He is probably one of the 10 most talented athletes on Earth, and because of his brash nature he has the drive to win and stay on top. Daehlie suffered a career ending injury in 2000, although as he would have been 34 at the Salt Lake Games, it’s not a guarantee he would have won more medals. Still, Northug needs to avoid the injury bug if he wants to catch the best Winter Olympian ever.

One other thing about Daehlie? He finished 4th in two races. THAT would probably be untouchable.

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  1. Paolo X
    March 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/NBC-awkwardly-and-abruptly-ends-Olympic-coverage?urn=oly,224859

    How much further proof do folks need that NBC’s coverage sucks major ass beyond even their loss on said coverage? I can’t wait for someone else to cover future games.

    Note the folks on the West Coast got screwed royally by another East Coast fuck outfit with the closing ceremonies on tape delay so they could show cross country skiing? No one outside of the mountainous areas out west gives a rat’s ass about any kind of skiing let alone that!

    Consider the predicament that folks living in Washington, right down the road from the Olympics, were in thanks to the New York fucks at NBC! Low class!

    • March 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      I am almost positive that 2012 will be the last Olympics NBC covers. ESPN/ABC will either outbid them by a tremendous amount for 2014 on, or the IOC will refuse to sell the rights to NBC.

      It will be interesting to see how ESPN tackles the live sports problem, given that most events in Sochi will take place when much of America is in bed.

  2. BrianBridgePro
    March 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    ESPN has the platform flexibility that is needed. They’ll run the prime time broadcasts on ABC just like NBC, short vignettes of athletes,followed by short intervals of events showing only Americans,winners, and disastrous spills. The difference will be All Hockey all the time on ESPN2,All Curling on ESPN Classic,Today showesque features on ESPNews,Live big name events on ESPN, live lower interest events on the U. More platforms = more advertiser choices on rates and placement=turn a profit.

    • Paolo X
      March 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Brian not only nailed it, but he gets it enough that perhaps he ought to be running things over at ESPN! 🙂

      True Fetch there is the time difference for which to account on some occasions, but there is nothing preventing ESPN from showing some key events both live and replaying them in primetime when only some people, as in the core demographics of old folks and young moms with kids in school, will watch. NBC did not get that and never will and to hell with them. Some events are better on tape delay than others too, as in figure skating and ice dancing and other primetime BS.

      People in the Northwest US really got screwed the most only because NBC is out of New York. If the games were again in Lack Placid, we know damn fuckin’ well NBC would have had more events live due to pressure from their fellow constipated, frenetic, somewhat slobbering inbred New York City fucks!

      East Coast bias ruled again, and what’s saddest is that most of my fellow countrymen don’t realise it. 😦

  3. Paolo X
    March 2, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    This just in for anyone we run into who insists that NBC’s coverage was great.

    By comparison with the largest event as far as global viewing audience, the World Cup, ESPN will carry ALL games LIVE this June even though in South Africa, meaning of course most games will be on and viewed even whilst folks are at work. I’m fortunate to have TV whether at work or home, and countless folks now have mobile TV.

    No doubt ESPN will be able to do it all LIVE for the Olympics via standard television, internet, and mobile platforms.

    Btw covering the World Cup live has been standard practise most everywhere outside of North America for decades already as it has been on Univision and Telefutura for those of us who will watch said games in Spanish.

    So NBC can rot along with its antiquated, stodgy schmucks like Ebersol and Zucker and rot along with its sister networks as far as I am concerned. Fuck ’em!

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