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Petter Northug will have eternal heltestatus in Norway

In conclusion of Petter Northugs career as toppidrettsutøver, it is natural to think through the role he has played in this quirky sport, but also what he symbolized in a more general context.

Columnist Arve Hjelseth

is a sociologist and associate professor in the idrettssosiologi at NTNU. His areas of research is the commercialization of sports, sports and kulturpublikum, a group of football supporters and football in general.

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Northug has for the last twelve years probably has been our most popular athlete, but at the same time he has been controversial. There is not much controversial over a Oddvar Abrupt or Ole Einar Bjørndalen. They appeared as the powerful figures it was almost impossible to set up a critical.

Northug is also cultured , but still in a different category and in a different way. The popularity was fed by his incredible performance, but also by the fact that he has challenged powerful actors and heavy traditions. The interest for him due to popularity, but also that the audience at times has been more divided in the sight of him. Already the breakthrough during the Norwegian CHAMPIONSHIP in 2006 led to controversy, when he as energy best herreløper still not got a place in the OLYMPIC squad (who on their side showed themselves to achieve weak results). There are norwegians who hardly have forgiven national leadership's yet.

this continued it really. For the first: Neither Northugs sponsorship deal with Red Bull, or participation in, poker tournaments were particularly popular in the skiforbundet, and this egenrådigheten pointed towards the break with the national team after the world cup in 2013. For the followers he stood for a much-needed renewal, for the skeptics, he was a uromoment.

A new time – for the other – even in the langrennssporet. Northug came into the national team just after the mass start had been the most common konkurranseformen in the championship. Unlike what many may have believed in advance, Norway had already good experiences with the mass start, with the triple victory both on the tremila in 2003 and on femmila in 2005.

But Northugs properties was even more clearly adapted to the new konkurranseformatet. Not only was he the best spurteren, he was also the one who best understood the fellesstartens tactical aspects. He was a master of maneuver in the field, and he realized how best rasjonerte with the forces: the First in the slopes, on the tail of the field at the top.

Even if Northug had much in common with the previous skihelter, with growing up on the trønderske the countryside, he was also different type than their more fåmælte predecessors. He had an unusual slagferdig rejoinder, a trait he perfected further as the years went by.

He could win on the arrogant ways and was stretching the limits of what could be characterized as good sportsmanship. The swedes should not only be turned, they should, if possible, ydmykes. Also shared to a certain extent the audience in two, but the supporters were probably in the majority, and all understood no matter that the market value of the cross-country skiing in our time was depending on that the stars appeared with personality and clear profile.

It was Northug media would have, whether he was in form or not. It happened that the press conferences with landslagsløperne during the championships was stood on the affairs. If Northug himself was not present, yet it was him the other runners were asked to comment on.

The famous fyllekjøringshistorien levendegjorde for the third a classic tale about the hero who against all odds rises from the defeats and scandals, and turn back. Femmilsgullet in Falun is just as iconic as dødsslitne Bear Dæhlies collapse over the finish line in Nagano in 1998.

Northug also finished out, but won apparently on pur Will. The as such the ability to blow up the boundaries of their own performance have eternal heltestatus.

Overall has Northugs achievements so been accompanied by constant tension, as a continuous indication that something more than just cross-country skiing has been on the game. Northug has been even a bit more individualist than competitors and teammates, he has been an even more cynical tactician, and he has challenged the central elements in the Norwegian landslagsmodellen. the

For the supporters he has such pointed forward to a renewed sport and potentially also symbolized a much-needed renewal of Norway. For a part of the sceptics has he similarly symbolized potential threats to the values they cherish.

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