Sochi Olympic Norwegian skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby was recently called the worst Norwegian skier by his mom. Gro Johnsrud Langslet the mother of Sundby was quoted as saying, “You’re the worst Norwegian. You should go home.” And go home he will. Sundby placed 13th in the 15-kilometer classic race. He was Norway’s best hope for a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics.
Sundby, born in 1984, has competed in cross-country skiing since 2003. He won the silver medal in the team relay competition in the 2010 Olympics held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He received his first individual win in Kuusamo, Finland on November 30, 2008 where he received international recognition. In lesser competitions in 2007 he won the 30 km Scandinavian Cup race and the 10 km International Ski Federation (FIS) race. In 2008 he went on to win the team sprint test event in Liberec, Czech Republic on February 17, 2008
According to Fox Sports the words may have been meant as light banter but Sundby’s mom didn’t hold back more verbal attacks as he approached the finish line. “Look at that, he doesn’t stand a chance,” as she was quoted by DVTV. Langslet was in a Norwegian television studio to watch her son compete. Sundby leads the overall World Cup and was a strong contender to medal but the Sochi Olympic skier struggled from the beginning in the less than ideal snow conditions in Russia.
Sundby will not go home empty-handed. He won the bronze medal in the 30k skiathalon. Mom’s reaction? She said he wasn’t as bad as the medal indicated and that it’s the worst he’s been all year. That’s tough words for the Sochi Olympic Norwegian skier. It is doubtful that words like that would even come from a less than inspired coach, but from your own mother?
Sundby also hit a struggle in his 0.1 second advance on Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin. Russian officials protested the bronze medal win citing that Sundby had entered Vylegzhanin’s lane impeding the Sochi Olympic skiers’ progress. However, the race jury decided that the win would stand as Sundby was already in the lead when he entered the Russian skier Vylegzhanin’s lane. Russia is now appealing the decision to the Sochi Olympic governing authority.
His next competition will be the 4x10km relay race for team Norway. Regardless of a mother’s sentiments the Norway government sent their team with high praise and words of encouragement.
A statement released within the Norway Olympic Team Media Guide stated that, “Each and every one of you travels to the Winter Olympics with your own dreams, expectations, high hopes of success and goals. Hold on to these dreams and never lose sight of your goals, and work resolutely with your teammates to achieve them.” The team guide further stated that, “Together, we have a common goal that we have been working towards for a long time. We believe we can win at least 26 medals and end up among the best three nations. I greatly believe we can achieve this. One condition is that we all do our best.” Perhaps these words are better suited for a young Sochi Olympic cross-country skier who was called the ‘worst Norwegian’ by none other than his own mom.