Olympic Athletes >> Petter Northug


Petter Northug



Date of Birth

Jan. 6, 1986


With a self-proclaimed talent for "being faster than everybody else," Northug demanded attention by winning six gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 Junior World Championships. He was the first junior to sign a contract with a ski manufacturer that included a base salary. The next year, at Northugs first World Championships in Sapporo, Japan, he helped Norway win the relay title and placed in the top 10 in two individual events. His coronation as king of the World Championships came two years later in Liberec, Czech Republic, with three gold medals. In the 2009-10 season, Northug won the overall World Cup. He carried that momentum into the Vancouver Olympics and claimed two golds, a silver and a bronze. One of his gold medals was in the 50-kilometer classical race, where he became the first skier to win the 50K at the Winter Olympics, World Championships and Holmenkollen since Swedens Gunde Svan in 1988. A viral infection the next season forced Northug to start later than usual. He placed second at the Tour de Ski stage race, then won five medals at the World Championships at home in Oslo _ three gold and two silver.


Northug added two gold medals and a silver at the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Norways victory in the 4 x 10-kilometer relay gave Northug a total of nine gold medals, tying countryman Bjorn Dahlies record. The win also gave Norway its seventh straight gold medal in the event. Individually, Northug won his first title in the 15-kilometer freestyle, completing his collection of World Championships gold medals, and took the silver in the classical sprint. Although Northug was the two-time defending champion and favorite at 50 kilometers, he finished 21st and gave champion Johan Olsson of Sweden his jersey as a gesture of respect. Northug concluded the 2012-13 season by winning the 15K classical in Lahti, Finland, by a convincing margin, then taking the famous classical sprint in Drammen, Norway. In the season finale in Sweden, Northug won the first two stages, finished fourth in the next, and closed the season by winning the whole mini-tour. The stretch run vaulted Northug from third place in the World Cup overall standings to first. He got off to a relatively slow start this season, but won the Marathon Cup in Livigno, Italy.


Northug should bring home some more Olympic hardware. Norways relay is particularly strong and Northug will try to regain his supremacy in the 50-kilometer race.

Things To Know

  • Northug participated and finished the main event of the 2010 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, placing 653rd.
  • In 2011, he and his friend Odd Bjoern Hjelmeset faced each other in a duel in the desert outside Las Vegas. The two world champions put on cross country skis to find out who is the best on sand. Tied at 1-1, Hjelmeset won the third round.
  • Northugs younger brother Thomas won the junior world sprint title in 2010.

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