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.