What Makes Norway The Most Decorated Country In The Winter Olympics? | Feed the Flame

What Makes Norway The Most Decorated Country In The Winter Olympics? | Feed the Flame


Norway, 150,000 square miles
of Alpine terrain offers a skier’s paradise. The sport was born here. To this day Norway still
dominates the Winter Olympic Games, tallying 329 total medals, and nearly half of them gold. With a population
of just over five million, Norway has the most
Olympic medals per capita, with one for about
every 11,000 people. But what are the factors
that contribute to the team’s impressive trophy count? I’ve come to Norway to find out what motivates
the young athletes trying to keep
the winning streak alive. And over the course of
this week, I’ll immerse myself in
the diet, exercise and culture behind the most successful skiing competitors
in the world. (FEED THE FLAME) Vital to any winter athlete’s
diet is a rich source of
fat calories for warmth and energy. A popular staple of the
Norwegian cuisine is cheese. Especially brunost,
or brown cheese. – There, she’s coming.
– Whoa! – She’s very big.
– Hi! So, do you think
it’s the purity of the food that led your four children
to become successful athletes? Part of it, and, you know,
good health from the people before us. When you have a little,
small child it’s very necessary
to give them exactly what they need. Organic vegetables,
the children got lots of them. Goat milk and goat cheese. OK. – That’s the way!
– That’s how you do it. Do you think the brown cheese is eaten by all athletes
in Norway? Yeah, I think so.
I think they need to have the brown cheese
when they put it in their bag and bring it to
all the countries they go. Because they need
this brown cheese. They think energy, because
there’s lots of energy in it. I’m headed inside right now to Heidal Ysteri,
which is a local creamery. Can you walk us
through the process once the milk comes here? OK. It’s the dairy
which fetches the milk from the farms around. It’s put into that big pan and cooked for about two hours. And then we pump it
into sausages and press them in moulds. – So this is it here?
– Yeah. You don’t find it
anywhere else in the world. – Can I taste it?
– Yeah. Let’s check this out. That’s amazing. I can see how on really good
bread it’d be delicious. – Yeah.
– Thank you very much. At just 25 years old, Anders Fannemel holds
the ski flying world record at 251.5 metres. Or nearly three
football fields. I started skiing as soon as
I could walk, I think. I grew up on a farm
in Hornindal. My dad actually made
the slopes around our house with a structure all the way up
to our cabin in the forest kind of, so… Your dad basically built a winter wonderland
for you as a kid. So you got just a few
trophies and medals here. Do you want to talk to me
about some of these? The longest standing jump
in Vikersund. This one is from the first year I was doing ski flying
in competition. Man Of The Year, but then
I started to believe that I was able to…fly. When I started ski jumping,
I got hooked by the fear of doing the first jump and then the joy of
making the jump. Is it dangerous? I think it’s dangerous.
When you’re on top of the biggest hill,
you’re quite nervous. You should be a bit afraid and have respect
for what we are doing. What are the steps
to qualify for the Olympics? We’re starting the season again
in November. I have to compete
on a higher level from then till the Olympics starts to be on the team. And that’s it. I have to be
among the top five in Norway. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s really tough
to stay on top. Motivation has to be 100% because if you’re not doing
your best, you have no chance. We have to train quite hard
and not eat too much. Today I’m meeting with
Dr Ina Garthe, head of the
sports nutrition programme at the Norwegian
Olympic Sports Centre to gain insight on
how their athletes eat and train for peak performance. So what makes you love
working with athletes? With athletes it’s like
you have to hold them back. You have to make sure that they
are not pushing the limits. They just want to do
everything. We are really concerned
about their diet, that they are covering every
need to maintain muscle mass and to keep you full. A cross-country skier eats four times more
than a ski jumper. – Four times more?
– Yeah. Wow. (AVERAGE DAILY CALORIE INTAKE
FOR A MALE IS 2,500 KCALORIES) (CROSS-COUNTRY SKIERS INGEST
10,000 KCALORIES PER DAY) Their performance will do down if they don’t manage
to cover all their needs. If we have a ski jumper,
they don’t want large muscles because they have to be light. So we have different programmes
for each and every person. For example, fish,
which can be, you know, fat, it’s perfect. You have to have fatty acids,
omega-3. The recommendation is
that you eat fish for dinner at least twice a week. Fish is always a part of
the dietician’s plan. With 50,000 islands and over
83,000 kilometres of coastline, Norway offers some of
the best fishing in the world. And today I’ve come to
the island of Tromsø, 200 miles inside
the Arctic Circle, to see what’s lovingly
referred to as the world’s largest
fishing village. So I’ve just arrived at
a harbour outside of Tromsø and behind me you can see that the fishermen
are bringing their boats up. They’re unloading
loads and loads of fish. Cleaning them, dumping them
and then you can see over here they’re processing them
to bring them into the city. So we’re going to talk
to a fisherman named Paul who’s invited us
out to his boat. – Are you Paul?
– Yes. Nice to meet you. Thank you
so much for having us. It’s very beautiful out here. And what do you do first? First I go out
for maybe two hours and then I find my nets,
it’s a buoy with a flag. It comes here and then the fish
follow the net and come here. I have some here. – Oh, wow. What is this here?
– This is cod. – OK.
– I’ll serve this for you. – Oh, yeah?
– Yes. – If you have time.
– Do you cook? Yes, I cook. – Paul, that’s so good.
– Delicious. – It’s delicious, yeah.
– OK, good. Right, now we’re on our way
to the Meråker school, which is a High School for
exceptional athletes in Norway. Kids come from all over to pursue their dream
of becoming a Winter Olympian. So I’m excited to meet
some of the teenagers here who are training
and get an idea of what their day-to-day
is like. One fifth of Norway’s
Olympians started here at the Meråker school. Students from all over
come to the Trøndelag region to follow in the footsteps of many of Norway’s decorated
competitors. I’m here to see first-hand what it takes to
become an elite winter athlete. So I see that each
of these rooms are named after different Winter Olympics,
is that right? Yeah, all the rooms.
Vancouver 2010. And this is Torino 2006. Salt Lake City,
I took three medals. I took two gold medals
and one silver medal. So that was
a very good place for me. In cross-country skiing? That was in
cross-country skiing. – And you went to this school?
– I went to this school also. So when I was a student here,
I used a lot the same rooms. A typical day, we have training
from the morning up to lunch before having
theoretical lessons, the last part of the day. The trainers don’t want to
tell them what to do every day. We want them to be independent,
to plan their own training. To find out what’s working
for exactly themselves. The best feeling is that
we have this freedom to be out in nature
and train and don’t be inside a gym,
for example. It just makes me smile.
It’s freedom for me. Every morning
you hit the slopes? – Yeah.
– First thing? I hit the slopes right here.
It’s amazing. It started from when I was
a little kid. I loved skiing. I grew up in a family
where we were skiing and we were going out
in the mountains and dancing and riding horses. My father,
he was an active skier as well. So he is the person
who has teached me everything since I was a little kid. Did you watch
the Winter Olympic Games? Yeah. Any moments from specific Games
that you remember? The sprint team competition with Petter Northug
and Øystein Pettersen. I could see how happy
they were. And some part of being
a team. Even though cross-country
skiing is individual. I can imagine how much
hard work they both have done. So, that’s something
I also want to experience. Is there a good way to walk? Your poles, they’re going
straight down. That’s good. So are your toes
always straight forward? – Yeah.
– OK. Maybe you can try
to stand in the… – In the grooves?
– Yeah. So you left home,
you live on your own, you train every morning
on the slopes no matter
what the weather is like. Yeah. You go to competitions
on the weekends. Why? What’s this all for? I want to become
a very great skier so maybe in some years
I become a world champion
or an Olympic champion. That’s my dream. – That’s the goal?
– Mm. – That’s the dream?
– Yeah. What would that mean for you
to win an Olympic gold medal? That’s my biggest goal
and dream – to take individual
Olympic medals. So that would mean a lot. It’s not only the results
and the gold medals, it’s more about pushing me,
my own limits. Hopefully I can do this
as long as I want. In Norway, skiing is
a harmonious coexistence between man and nature. Even in sub-zero temperatures, Norwegians’ reverence
for the rugged landscape leads them outside
at a young age. The nation’s pride, coupled
with fierce self-determination is what makes the people
resourceful and their athletes formidable. I’ve travelled all over
this week, from the mountains
to the coast, witnessing the incredibly
beautiful landscape that lays the foundation of
this active, healthy culture. I’ve seen farms and fisheries that power gold medallists
and Olympic hopefuls. But most importantly, I’ve experienced the spirit
of joy and independence that keeps Norway’s
winning tradition alive.

100 Replies to “What Makes Norway The Most Decorated Country In The Winter Olympics? | Feed the Flame”

  1. It's the government. It's the government that makes Norway the most decorated country in the winter sports. You see, Norway is the only country in the world with state sponsored athletic sports. And here's a little fun story. Norway has a very egalitarian culture. Everybody is supposed to be the same. This is reflected in the school system as well. Everybody receives the same quality of education. No exceptions. There are no elite schools in Norway. That is….. except for one. The only elite school that exist in Norway, which sole purpose is to foster and educate the best of the best, the elite, is the college of physical education or the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. This school gathers the top sports talents from all over the country and gives them everything they need to become top notch competitors in the most prestigious competitions of the world. All of the Norwegian medal winners through out history has attended this school. Here they receive a highly professional support system to foster their sports talent, and it's all paid for by the Norwegian government.

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  3. Brown Cheese is something you have to learn to like. If you try it for the first time there's a good chance you are gonna spit it out. Think olives or coffee, it's a very strong taste that your brain thinks might be poison and makes you want to reject it. Look at him when he said that's amazing, he spit that out as soon as he went off camera.

  4. As far as medals per capita , its most likely due to the independent structure of the society. Why so great at winter sports? Probably because we're covered in snow 6 months of the year coupled with with a deeply engraved culture for winter activities, mainly skiing. Hence the saying "Norwegians are born with ski"

  5. In Norway if you get a little winded while skiing you're automatically diagnosed an asthmatic. It's why 70+% of there medal winners have TUEs exemptions. Those are facts from there current investigation as cheaters who magically have 6 times the amount of asthma athletes than other countries. Any medals they win should have an asterisk followed by lifetime ban.

  6. The true key to the norwegian success in sports and especially winter sports is that our population as a whole lives and breaths sports. Success in sports is in many ways the single most important thing for our nation, and we take great pride in our success.
    We also spend a lot of money on sports facilities (not everywhere, but a lot of places), and our cross country team in particularly has a budget that makes the rest of the world(in the same sport) look like they are amateur teams.

    And now, the single most important thing, we are a wealthy nation. This is important because it means that the vast majority of our population has the funds and time to allow their children to pursue sports. And with the government allowing special ways to save and pay taxes for the money made from sports we make sure that our athletes have a relatively good chance of being able to live on the winnings and earnings from their sport after their career ends.

  7. Neskutečné výkony norských olympioniků, vítězství, výkony!!! 🍾🏅Gratulace všem sportovcům a Norsku z české republiky!

  8. Brown cheese basically tastes like a mixture of caramel and milk. Its really good but i rarely find myself eating it.

  9. It's all about the Gjetost!!!
    I'm a second generation American-Norwegian and have only had the chance to visit my Norwegian side of the family once. It was so awesome, and kind of weird! When I was there, I felt like I was literally at home, like visiting my grandparent's home when I was a kid. My family in Norway, the other people I met, all had similar interests as me, similar senses of humor, so welcoming and inviting. They even drank as much coffee as I drink! We took a trip to the mountains and they brought a thermos of coffee… that's exactly my style! And everyone looked just like me (go figure). What I also find crazy is that I love the cold and love exercising in the cold. My body seems to do much better in it, and it does poorly in the hot summers (just like my Norwegian relatives). Fish is a staple of my diet just because I've found my body needs it for optimum performance (I compete in cycling). And I only discovered this through lots of experimenting… I guess it's just literally in my DNA.
    Anyway, this 2018 winter Olympics have been so much fun to watch, to cheer on the Norwegians and teach my boys about their heritage. I also can't stop thinking about my Norwegian family and contacted them again after too many years without contact. Thank you Olympics and Norwegian athletes for bringing us together again!

  10. What makes Norway the most decorated country in the history of winter olympics? The frequent absence of Germany. Norway took part 22 times so far, Germany 11 times. That was easy.

  11. This isn’t the only case involving the Norwegian team, Timo Seppala said in an interview.

    “CAS report showed that the Norwegian Ski Federation was aware that Sundby was using this drug. The doctor of the athlete knew about overdoses, but did nothing to prevent them, which means the federation should be held responsible. Obviously WADA should set up a committee to investigate the use of illegal drugs in the Norwegian Ski Federation to establish the truth. There is no other way,” Seppala said.

    In 2011, WADA legalized the anti-asthma drug symbicort, which was being used by famous Norwegian skier Marit Bjoergen at that time. Though experts say that asthma drugs can’t help athletes breathe easier during races, the matter has raised much concern within and beyond sports community.

    Yelena Valbe, president of the Russian Cross-Country Ski Association, spoke out on the dominance of Norwegians in both men’s and women’s races, calling it “very annoying,” since their team consists solely of asthmatics.

    Valbe also supported the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said during his annual Q&A session in December of 2015 that athletes requiring drugs for medical reasons should consider joining a paralympic team.

  12. Jessie Diggins, if you can't beat em join em, another olympic medal for an asthma sufferer. Might as well let all athletes who need to breath oxygen take asthma medication. Its rightly fair even if they don't need it.

  13. Nowhere in Norway is 'alpine'. Trust me . . . . [NB just because somewhere is mountainous and snowy that doesn't make it alpine.] On the other hand it does offer (limited) 'alpine skiing'; but that's a different matter.

  14. I think another reason, why Norwegians take pride in winning for their country is, that they were "under" Danish or Swedish rule for many centuries. They are a young AND ancient Nation at the same time. Btw they are of course VERY supportive of their own athletes, but ALWAYS applaud visiting athletes, who are performing well.

  15. If you add all the German Teams at the Olympics together (because Germany was seperated for nearly 40 years) they would end up in first (more gold medals and more overall medals).

  16. Just like South Korea tortures and massacres millions of dogs, Norway is full of sadistic animal haters. They are one of the last renegade countries killing whales, and they're oil rich idiots who blow away any wildlife they can find. Fat Norwegian cowards go out in their frilly little pink outfits on their snowmobiles to kill off the last of the wolves. The one or two wolf families that survive have to escape to Sweden to avoid the gun happy Norwegians.

  17. Why? Really? I think it's because they have a lot of winter, a lot of hills and a lot of snow and ice and they like playing on it.

  18. I am pretty sure that the sole thing that makes Norway the most decorated country in WO especially in things like biathlon is asthma.

  19. How can the official Olympic youtube channel be so wrong? Germany is the most decorated country in the winter olympics with 150 gold, 145 silver and 115 bronze medals compared to norway with 132 gold, 125 silver and 111 bronze medals. So regardless of whether you count the combined total or just the gold medals germany wins either way.

  20. I feel so proud everytime i hear anything about Norway and the winter olympic games plus we won 20+ gold medals in pyeongchang 2018

  21. He missed the key of Norwegian success. The people behind it all, is not just the state, food, tarain or the Viking spirit.
    But: Love of the sport, love to the parents and family, volunteers from the local people who helps, with the knowledge of Snow, temperature, ice, wind and how fast thing changes….
    Norway is buildt on volunteerism………… and it is very strong today…..
    Main key….. "You have to love what you do"

  22. we are so great cuz we are vikings and we are born and raised in a cold and snowy country, ofc we are gonne crush everyone on skiing then

  23. I just thought of something, its normal for norwegians to drink fish oil straight out the bottle, once a day for breakfast. Dont know if this is something other people know about us.

  24. i know everyone are gonna say that their using asthma medichine, but haven't you forgot that every country in the world uses that? 😂😂😂

    if we uses that "asthma medichine" then we're not the only one! 😑😑😑

    sorry for bad english 😷

  25. People get so focused on the amazing Norwegian skiers that they forget about Norway’s fantastic snowboarders

  26. Asthma meds. Lot's and lot's of asthma meds. Systematic use. They forgot to mention that. Thankfully not everyone lives under a rock.

  27. 1:24 that is not how you say brunost, put more sound into it, like a higher pitched tune at the end, we sound very musical.

  28. Mainly because nobody in the world cares about cross country skiing look at their result in the real Olympics in 2016 four bronzes 😂😂😂

  29. It's quite simple. In Scandinavia we gain strength from raking the forest floors from an early age. Hard work, but it pays off!

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