After finishing second in the 20k relay, the Norwegian women ripped the Norwegian press.

“We wish to thank our supporters among the athletic community and the public. We do not thank the press corps,” Anita Moen and Trude Dybendahl said in a joint statement. “You have lost touch with reality and expect nothing but gold.”

Moen also accused the Norwegian media of gender bias.

“When Bjorn Daehlie (of Norway) beats Vladimir Smirnov (of Kazakhstan), nobody suggests that this is because Smirnov is out of shape,” she said. “Had we taken the gold medal, everyone would have said our rivals skied poorly, not that we were good.”

Added Dybendahl, “We would like to feel that the press has faith in us, too. It doesn’t make it any easier for us when you predict we have no future.”


The Norwegian team was not without support. Officials said 850 buses carried 40,000 spectators to Birkebeineren Ski Stadium for the relay and estimated that 30,000 of them were from southern Norway.