Athletes of the Year
MEN Petter Northug
INTERNATIONAL NORDIC SKIER OF THE YEAR
There were a lot of doubts about Petter Northug this season. The
Norwegian stud struggled in the season-openers in Beitostolen before
skipping the first few weekends of World Cup competition. Rumors
ran wild in the Norwegian newspapers: their golden boy had gone
sour from overtraining, lack of motivation, sickness, etc. When he did
return to the World Cup in December, it wasn’t all that convincing.
After mediocre results in Davos in his World Cup debut, he lost what
may have been his first sprint finish in the La Clusaz 30K. But apparently all he needed was a little time. Northug came back in a big
way in the New Year, finishing second in the Tour de Ski to Cologna.
Then he saved the best for the home show; Northug truly dominated
in Oslo, taking three golds and two silvers, and even shedding a few
uncharacteristic tears after his win in the 30K pursuit before returning
to his usual cocky self in the 4x10K relay. There is no doubt about it
— Northug can win when it counts.