Monday, May 23

Norway’s Olympic gold hopes near ugly fall: – A scandal

– He risks both his career and the Olympics, says sports manager Ivar Stuan – who punishes those responsible.

This is how Jarl Magnus Riiber reacted right after he almost fell in Seefeld.

Jarl Magnus Riiber is almost unbeatable. He is perhaps Norway’s biggest gold hope in the Olympics.

But on Saturday, the Olympics – and far more – could have been wasted.

For Saturday’s jump race in Seefeld was dramatic. Riiber was hit by a gust of wind. For a brief moment, he apparently lost control of his skis, before being able to recover.

What happened in Saturday’s jump race, provokes sports manager Ivar Stuan,

– I think it is a scandal, Stuan says to Aftenposten.

– He risks both his career and not least the Olympics in such a situation, he continues.

Admits they could have waited

Saturday’s jump race was characterized by strong winds. The competition was hit by several interruptions. The organizer spent some time to ensure that the jumpers jumped in safe enough conditions.

But when Riiber jumped, he got 7.5 seconds of wind “right in the bulb out of the jump”, as NRK expert Anders Jacobsen put it.

Both NRK commentators and Ivar Stuan reacted to Riiber jumping.

– The race today was characterized by wind. We were at the limit of what we could allow in terms of security. Riiber is unlucky, and we of course agree that we could wait, says Norwegian Lasse Ottesen, who has the title “race director” for combined in the International Ski Federation (FIS), to Aftenposten.

Disagree with “scandal” criticism

Riiber was number 13 in the jumping race, far worse than usual.

According to Lasse Ottesen in FIS, the conditions were “OK” when Riiber got the green light, before they changed when he came on the air.

Then a strong wind came from the left.

– They could have spent more time giving him a chance. That is why it is a scandal, says Ivar Stuan.

– I do not agree with that, says Ottesen about the use of the word «scandal».

He elaborates:

Riiber is over the border, but the other 49 are OK. We look at the race as a whole, not just 1 athlete.

“Body Art”

NRK’s ​​commentator team also reacted strongly to what happened to Riiber.

– Here they play chance with Jarl Magnus Riiber, said Christian Nilssen in the NRK broadcast.

– I also think so, said former World Cup gold medalist in jumping Anders Jacobsen.

– Once you have waited so long, and it is such an unstable period on the slopes, then they could have been okay and waited a little longer, especially when it is the biggest favorite, Jacobsen explains.

However, Jacobsen was full of praise for how Riiber managed to avoid falls, something he called “body art”. Lasse Ottesen in FIS also thinks in those terms.

– I must praise Riiber for the way he handled the situation, Ottesen says.

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