With a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a former sprint world champion vying for one spot on the sprint team, coaches for Norway’s cross-country program appeared to have a tough decision on their hands.
Instead, they’re bringing both Petter Northug, the double-gold winner from Vancouver, and Ola Vigen Hattestad, the 2009 world champ in individual sprint, on board at the expense of Finn Haagen Krogh, who’s been dropped. As a result, Norway’s sprint team now consists of Northug, Hattestad, Eirik Brandsdal, and Anders Gloeersen.
Hattestad had helped cause the selection problem for Norway after he claimed victory in the free sprint last weekend at the final FIS World Cup event before the Olympics.
He admitted to Norwegian media after the win that he was angry about the team picking three members beforehand, declaring that it was “stupid to put me up against Petter.” The team’s director, Vidar Loefshus, disclosed to a Norwegian paper that they would do “a new evaluation of the team selection.”
Haagen Krogh, along with Brandsdal and Gloeersen, have never won a major championship.