The secret of the success of Norwegian sports

Norway topped the medal table at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. It has already done so in Pyeongchang games in 2018. It is amazing to be a country with Only 5.3 million people (The county of Barcelona has more population than Norway) outperforms giants such as China, the United States, Canada and Russia.

Norway also excels in sports other than snow and ice. names like Haaland, Magnus Carlsenthe brothers EngbergstenOlympic champion and world record holder in the 400m hurdles Karsten Warholm, Victor Hovland In golf, tennis player Casper Road or the golden ball Ada Hegerberg.

And in the individual medal rankings, Norway takes the lead and also occupies prominent positions in the absolute ranking. The lyrics of her national anthem are already saying: We are not many, but we are enough.

Its secret can be summed up in this phrase: “Success is achieved through enjoyment, not competition.”. Whereas in the rest of the countries we focus folk sports on specialization, competition and systematic training from very early ages, Norway has a completely different policyWhich they make with their logo Fun sport for everyone.

Jacob Ingbrigtsen, Olympic champion and 1500 . world indoor record holder


In other words: Until the age of 13 we will focus on participation, on children who practice and experience different sports and that they freely choose them; They play and have fun, and that competition and ranking are of little importance.

Everything stems from the document “Rights and Provisions of Children in Sports” that they wrote in 1987 and reviewed periodically to adapt them to new conditions. The success of the new is reflected in Huge jump in results between Calgary 1988 with five medals and Beijing 2022 with 37.

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And another fact, perhaps more important than sporting successes: in Norway, 93% of children and 70% of adults play some sportsdata that contrast, paradoxically, with those of The United States, a country where only 45% of children play sports of equipment in 2008, a proportion that fell in 2018 to 38%.

They know in the United States that they have a problem and that many institutions and personalities have been working for years to reverse this trend. Kobe Bryant, for example, participated in the #DONTRETIREKID campaign in 2018.

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rip oribo He is the director of Olympiatoppen, an organization associated with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee responsible for training elite athletes. In an interview about the Beijing Winter Games, he made it clear that his work is focused on them “Support the athletes to reach the maximum and then we count the medals”. An example of this approach has been given before Burke Roadwho after winning the gold medal (acrobatic skating), remembered his father, who passed away a few months ago: “I think he would be proud of me, because I did it for the right reasons, and not for the result, but for sport, for the love of sport. I didn’t start skating to win this medal, I started skating for the love of the sport, and that’s why I got this far.”.

In popular sports, something similar to the joke of a driver who hears on the radio that a car is going in the opposite direction and comments: “Nobody, all of them!” happens to us. However, I think, in the case we’re in, the driver going in the opposite direction is the one driving correctly.

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Amber Cross

"Music buff. Unapologetic problem solver. Organizer. Social media maven. Web nerd. Incurable reader."

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