Posted by: Sarah | March 26, 2010

Biathlon Championships At Holmenkollen

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post because we’ve been away on holiday, Easter came along and then my brother and sister-in-law had a baby and I became an Aunty for the first time! (post coming soon).  However, I’m back online and finishing off some posts…

We arrived back from our holiday a few weeks ago and whilst waiting for the bags on the carousel I noticed a sign promoting the Biathlon championships in Holmenkollen.  Having become obsessed with the winter olympics before we left for our holiday, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see a biathlon…live!  Our weekend was planned.

Holmenkollen is not that far from where we live – it takes 20 minutes in the car and 40 minutes on the bus/train.  It’s most famous for the ski jump which was used in the Lillehammer olympics in 1994 however, at the moment they’re rebuilding the jump in time for the world championships in 2011.   This was the first time the arena was open to the public as they wanted to test the facility.

We arrived (along with the rest of Oslo it seemed) and walked across craggy unfinished paths, up muddy hills, clambering across slippery rocks and running across the ski course avoiding the racing athletes.  Eventually we found our spot and we had quite a good view of approximately 75% of the course – we could see the shooting and ski track so we were in for a good show.  For all of us, it was fascinating experience.  The skiers were pretty interesting but what caught our attention the most was how the Norwegians handle such a day out!

 It was still pretty cold but despite the weather, the spectators turned up with their Norwegian flags pushing their baby buggies across snow-covered rustic terrain in search of a place to stop.   It’s amazing to watch how prepared the Norwegians are for the outdoors.  Once they had located a spot, they would start a search for green foliage from nearby trees, cover the floor and then place their foam carry mat on top.  Whilst this is happening, other members of the family are setting up the wood fire and/or BBQ by clearing a little hole in the snow so it’s sheltered from the wind.  At this point, someone else is pouring out the piping hot coffee followed by a bottle of Baileys liquor to add extra warmth to the flavour.  The guy you see in the picture leaning to his left is just adding some more pancake mix to his frying pan – I kid you not!

I really admire the Norwegian spirit.  They have a passion for being outdoors whatever the weather and the children didn’t seem to mind!  Having watched several families set up “camp” for the day, it really made me realise that this spirit is part of the Norwegian upbringing – part of their childhood.  Wonderful day out!

Have a go on the ski jump yourself using this simulator >>>

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