We here at Stressless® like to live well and indulge in comfortable surroundings and timeless design. But part of living well also means being active. Norwegians are very active folks. Not just in the wintertime when they go for their beloved cross-country ski run. No, also in the summertime when they can enjoy the great outdoors to hike, swim and sail.
Did you know that Norway has won more medals than any other country at the Winter Olympics. No really, look it up. Norwegians are the most successful nation when it comes to competing in snow covered terrain. But what about the Summer Olympics?
Norwegians are known for their long summer days during the months of June and August with its comfortable climate. Perfect conditions to spend time outside and practice all sorts of summer sports. We have discussed in length how Norwegians love the outdoors to escape to their Hytte and enjoy a relaxing time among stunning fjords and breathtaking mountains. Once the weather turns nice outside, the summer sun comes out, and Norwegians are actually able to sit outside to enjoy a beer, it becomes a national Norwegian pastime. There is even a word for it; Utepils. It literally means “the act of sitting outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer.”
But we want to turn our attention to something that requires a little bit more activity than just sitting outside in the sun and drinking a cold brew. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics just kicked off on July 23, 2021, one year later than they were supposed to begin. Once again athletes from countries across the globe are competing for medals in their respective sports. Among them are Norwegian athletes, looking to fulfill their dreams of the highest athletic honor.
Norway made its Olympic debut in 1900 in Paris, France with a total of seven athletes. Since then, Norway has missed only two editions of the Games and accumulated a total of 153 Olympic medals so far. Impressive collection, but almost nothing compared to an astonishing 368 medals Norwegian athletes brought home from Winter Games.
You might ask: Why are Norwegians so good in the snow, but less successful without it? The answer is not entirely clear. Instead, let’s take a look at what Norwegians are actually good at when it comes to summer outdoor sports, according to their past Olympic achievements.
Curiously, Norwegians are good on water and with a rifle in their hands. For example, sailing accounts for a total of 17 gold, 11 silver and three bronze medals while canoeing accounts for six gold, four silver and four bronze medals. More interesting though are the Norwegian rifle skills. Norwegian shooters have accounted for 13 gold and 32 medals in total, making it the most successful sport in terms of total medals won.
Some history here: Ole Andreas Lilloe-Olsen was part of a highly-successful 1920 shooting team. At the next Games in 1924, he almost defended all his titles but could only win silver in the double-shot team event leaving him with a total of five gold and one silver. He remains the only Norwegian to win five Summer Olympic gold medals.
With Norway’s rich seafaring viking history, it might be no surprise why sailing is the summer sport in which Norway has claimed the most gold medals, winning 17 gold and 31 medals in total. Magnus Konow is Norway’s most successful sailor with two gold and one silver collected over his 40-year Olympic career. Konow’s six participations between 1908 and 1948 make him Norway’s most prolific Olympic participant.
Norwegian Olympic spirit
However, this year’s Tokyo Olympics were different. Norway won eight total medals including four gold in sports that might come as a surprise to some. First, there was the astonishing Kristian Blumenfelt, who swam, ran and then rode his bike in the men’s triathlon to Norway’s first Olympic gold of the Tokyo Games. On the heels of his success came Karsten Warholm, who paced to a new world record in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Joining them in their highest Olympic laurels are Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who claimed gold in the men’s 1500-meter track race and the beach volleyball duo of Anders Mol and Christian Sørum, who won gold over their Russian counterparts.
These four gold medals already equalized Norway’s total medals from the 2016 Rio Games. With the additional two silver medals, won by Eivind Henriksen in the men’s hammer throw and Kjetil Borch in the men’s single sculls rowing competition, as well as the two bronze medals Hermann Tomasgaard in sailing and the women’s handball team brought home, Norway can look back on very successful Olympic Games.
Nonetheless, one thing is for certain. In tradition with the Olympic spirit, all Norwegian athletes are returning home to their country’s great outdoors, full of lifetime experiences knowing they have participated in history. And we all know what will follow. They will likely find time to sit down in their favorite Stressless recliner and Utepils until the summer sun fades away.