Petter Northug

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Petter Northug
Petter Northug - Ski WM 2011.jpg
Personal information
Full name Petter Northug, Jr.
Born (1986-01-06) 6 January 1986 (age 28)
Framverran, Mosvik, Norway
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Professional information
Club Strindheim IL
Skis Fischer
World Cup
Seasons 2005–
Wins 18
Additional podiums 13
Total podiums 31
Overall titles 2 (2009–10,2012–13)

Petter Northug Jr. (born 6 January 1986) is a Norwegian cross country skier and double Olympic champion. He has 11 World Championship and Winter Olympic gold medals with 16 medals overall ( 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the Olympics. 9 gold and 3 silver at the World Ski Championships), and 11 individual FIS Cross-Country World Cup wins with 23 podium places. By winning his ninth gold medal in the Nordic World Ski Championships in 4 x 10 km relay in Val di Fiemme 2013 he leveled[citation needed] the achievement of Bjørn Dæhlie who had been the most successful World Champion male skier up to this point.

Early life and career[edit]

During his first years, Northug was generally considered a star of the future. Whilst he was still a junior Verdens Gang newspaper reported in November 2005 that "the ski manufacturers are fighting to get Northug".[1] Fischer won his signature, and his contract included a base salary (the first time ever for a junior), which would be multiplied by five if he made the Norwegian elite team for 2006/07, which he did. The contract also offered bonuses if he won medals in the junior World Championships.

Northug has six gold medals from junior World Championships. His first two gold medals came in 2004/05 in the pursuit and the 10 km freestyle in Rovaniemi, then in 2005/06 in Kranj he won gold in the 10 km classic, the pursuit, the sprint, and the relay. He also has two silver medals (one in the sprint, and one in the relay, both in 2004/05). His victories made him the first athlete ever to win five individual gold medals at the FIS Junior Nordic World Ski Championships. During 2005/06 he also took part in the Norwegian National Championships, and won the double pursuit race, beating Frode Estil by 1.9 seconds, and became the first junior to ever win a Norwegian National Championship.

Before he joined the World Cup he competed in a few Continental Cup meetings, but mostly in the Scandinavian Cup. During his Scandinavian Cup career (2004/05 & 2005/06) he had seven podium finishes, he came second once in 2004/05, and in 2005/06 he scored four victories, and two second places.

Athletic career[edit]

The 2005/06 season was Northug's first in the World Cup, although he competed in one race the season before, a sprint in Drammen, he came 35th. During the 2005/06 season he shared his time equally between the World Cup and the Scandinavian Cup, although in early May 2006 it was announced that Northug would be in the senior national team for the 2006/07 season.[2] Northug also claimed his first World Cup victory in the 2005/06 season, in a pursuit race in Falun, beating 2005/06 World Cup winner Tobias Angerer, who came second, and 2004/05 overall champion Axel Teichmann was third.[3] Then in the last race of the year, a pursuit in Sapporo he claimed another podium place, coming second.[4] He lost to Mathias Fredriksson by 3.8 seconds. He also came seventh, tenth, and twelfth in sprint races, and fifteenth in the 50 km freestyle in Holmenkollen. Northug finished the 2005/06 World Cup season in 14th place overall. He also finished 14th in the distance standings, and 24th in the sprint.[5]

After Norway's disappointing display at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Norwegian press questioned why Northug was not taken to the Games. Northug himself admitted he was disappointed after not getting selected, especially as he had won the double pursuit in the National Championships earlier in the year.[6] The day after the 2006 Olympics Team was announced, Northug was on the team winning the Norwegian Championships in 4x10 kilometer relay. As he crossed the finish line, he shouted "And I am not going to the Olympics?".[7]

Northug won his first gold medal at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo as a member of the 4 x 10 km relay in 2007. Northug completed the last leg of the relay, beating Sweden and Russia on the sprint for the finish line. He was also in a good position to compete for silverware in the 30 kilometer duathlon, but he fell in the last part of the race and was disappointed to finish fifth.

He was far more successful at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 in Liberec, where he earned three golds in the 15 km + 15 km double pursuit, 4 x 10 km relay and 50 km freestyle mass start. In all three events he sprinted away from the rest of the pack to win the race.[8]

Northug was the runner up to the overall World Cup in the 2008/2009 season, losing to the Swiss Dario Cologna after leading before the final races.

Northug finished in an extremely disappointing 41st place in the first Cross Country event during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. A day later, Northug responded with a bronze medal in the Sprint Event. This success was short-lived however, as he broke his pole in the end of the 30 km pursuit, where he was one of the biggest favourites to win.[9] He then won his first Olympic gold, in the Team Sprint, alongside Øystein Pettersen.

Days later he was skiing the anchor leg in the 4 x 10 km relay. When he took over from Lars Berger who was skiing the 3rd leg, he was 37.5 seconds behind the lead group. Despite this he managed to catch and overtake France and the Czech Republic to win Norway a silver medal. Northug then won his first individual medal at the olympics when he won gold at the Men's 50 kilometre classic. Less than two weeks later, he won the 50 kilometre freestyle event at the Holmenkollen, becoming the first skier to win the 50 km at the Winter Olympics, World Championships, and Holmenkollen since Sweden's Gunde Svan reached that triple crown in 1988.

In September 2010 details of Northug's sponsorship contract with soft drink manufacturer Red Bull were publicized by Norwegian broadcaster TV 2, which did not divulge its sources, revealing the most profitable sponsorship agreement with an individual athlete in Norwegian history. For four years, until after the 2014 Winter Olympics, Northug will be receiving a minimum of NOK 1 million annually with a prospect of getting twice the amount if his performances equal those in his most recent seasons.[10]

Northug did not start the 2010–2011 season well, missing the first three weeks of the world cup due illness. His Tour de Ski campaign was also marred by poor results (to his standard) in the opening stages. He however climbed the rankings and finished 2nd after winning the prestigious penultimate stage (20 km classical mass start) in Val di Fiemme (taking all intermediate bonus sprints as well which has never been done by the winner of the race). In the Holmenkollen World Ski Championship Northug raced in five disciplines, taking 3 gold and 2 silver medals. During the 2011 World Championship, he gained widespread international attention when he controversially crossed the finish-line sideways after convincingly beating his opponents on the last leg of the 4x10 kilometre relay. The gesture was regarded by media as disrespectful, most notably towards his most fierce rival, Marcus Hellner. At the end of the season Northug also won the Season Finale in Sweden, beating his compatriot Finn Haagen Krogh.

In the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013, Northug won the 15 km freestyle for the first time at a World Championships, completing his collection of World Championship gold medals. He again beat the Swedes on the sprint of the 4x10 km relay, securing Norway's 7th World Championship gold medal in a row in the relay. Northug also won a silver in the individual sprint. He was less successful on the team sprint, where he and his teammate, Pål Golberg, went out in the semifinal. Despite being a favorite before the 50 km, Northug finished 21st. He gave the winner, Johan Olsson, his jersey after the race as a gesture of respect.

Northug had an impressive ending to the 2012–13 season. He won 15 km classical individual in Lahti by over half a minute before being victorious in the famous classical sprint in Drammen. In the Season Finale in Sweden, Northug won first two stages, the prestigious classical sprint in Stockholm and free style prologue in Falun, then finished fourth in the penultimate stage, 15k classical mass start, and closed the season by winning the whole mini-tour. Before Lahti, Northug was in the third place in the world cup, 226 points behind the lead; but he finished 180 points ahead of the second place.

As of 2013, Northug is unmatched as to number of medals among active cross country skiers. His tally of 16 Olympic and World Championship medals (11 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze) stands high above his peers.

Personal life[edit]

He has two brothers, Even and Tomas.[11] Tomas Northug also skis professionally and won the Junior World Championships in sprint in 2010.[12] Northug finished school in 2006, but during the summer of 2005 he changed schools from Steinkjer to Meråker and moved into a cabin next to the ski trails to optimize his training conditions.[13]

Petter Northug is an active poker player, and has openly supported the legalization of poker in Norway, which is currently illegal when prizes are involved under Norwegian gambling laws. He participated and cashed (on 653rd place) in the 2010 World Series of Poker main event which he played with skiing rival Marcus Hellner.[14]

2014 drunk driving incident[edit]

In the early hours of 4 May 2014, Northug crashed his car near his home in Byåsen, Trondheim, while driving under the influence of alcohol.[15] It was at the time suspected that the car was driving way over the speed limit, which was 40 km/h at the site of the crash. A 23 year old male passenger broke his collar bone in the crash. After the crash, Northug fled the scene, but was located at his nearby residence by the police using search dogs. In a press release made later the day of the crash, Northug apologised for the incident.[16][17]

On 15 September 2014, Northug was charged by the Norwegian public prosecutor on five counts of violation of the Norwegian Road Traffic Act and one count of violation of the general civil penal code. The latter charge stemmed from Northug having attempted in three separate police interrogations on the day of the crash to blame his passenger for the incident, claiming that the passenger had been driver of the vehicle. Due to Northug's initial claims, the passenger had been preliminary charged with causing the incident.[18]

Because Northug pleaded guilty to all the charges levelled against him, he received a summary trial, which took place on 9 October 2014 at Sør-Trøndelag District Court in Trondheim. Northug was sentenced to 50 days of prison, ten days less than requested by the prosecutor. He has already served two days of the sentence in police custody after his initial arrest. In addition to the prison time, Northug was fined NOK 185,000 and permanently lost his driver's licence. Northug accepted the verdict and waived his right to appeal.[19][20]

Career highlights[edit]

Olympic Games Medals
2010 Vancouver 1st, 50 km classical mass start
2010 Vancouver 1st, freestyle team sprint (with Øystein Pettersen)
2010 Vancouver 2nd, 4 x 10 km relay (with Johnsrud Sundby / Hjelmeset / Berger)
2010 Vancouver 3rd, classical sprint
FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Medals
2013 – Val di Fiemme 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Gjerdalen / Rønning / Røthe)
2013 – Val di Fiemme 1st, 15 km freestyle
2013 – Val di Fiemme 2nd, classical sprint
2011 – Oslo 1st, 50 km freestyle mass start
2011 – Oslo 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Johnsrud Sundby / Rønning / Gjerdalen)
2011 – Oslo 1st, 2 x 15 km skiathlon
2011 – Oslo 2nd, classical team sprint (with Ola Vigen Hattestad)
2011 – Oslo 2nd, freestyle sprint
2009 – Liberec 1st, 50 km freestyle mass start
2009 – Liberec 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Ruud Hofstad / Hjelmeset / Rønning)
2009 – Liberec 1st, 2 x 15 km skiathlon
2007 – Sapporo 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Rønning / Hjelmeset / Berger)
FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships Medals
2005 – Rovaniemi 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon
2005 – Rovaniemi 1st, 10 km freestyle
2005 – Rovaniemi 2nd, 4 x 5 km relay (with Markset / Hafsås / Svendsen)
2005 – Rovaniemi 2nd, classical sprint
2006 – Kranj 1st, 4 x 5 km relay (with Elvestad / Olsen / Sæves)
2006 – Kranj 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon
2006 – Kranj 1st, 10 km classical
2006 – Kranj 1st, 1 km freestyle sprint
Overall World Cup
2005/2006 – 14th
2006/2007 – 7th
2007/2008 – 12th
2008/2009 – 2nd
2009/2010 – 1st
2010/2011 – 2nd
2011/2012 – 3rd
2012/2013 – 1st
Season Opening
2011 1st
2012 1st
Tour de Ski
2006/2007 – 4th
2007/2008 – 8th
2008/2009 – 2nd
2009/2010 – 2nd
2010/2011 – 2nd
2011/2012 – 3rd
2012/2013 – 4th
Season Finale
2009 – 4th
2010 1st
2011 1st
2013 1st
World Cup podiums
2006 – Falun 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon
2006 – Sapporo 2nd, 2 x 15 km skiathlon
2006 – La Clusaz 2nd, 4 x 10 km relay (with Hetland / Rønning / Bjørndalen)
2007 – Lahti 1st, freestyle sprint
2007 – Falun 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Pettersen / Hjelmeset / Estil)
2008 – Falun 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Sundby / Jespersen / Eilifsen)
2008 – Gällivare 3rd, 15 km freestyle
2008 – Gällivare 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Sundby / Rønning / Ruud Hofstad)
2008 – La Clusaz 1st, 30 km freestyle mass start
2008 – La Clusaz 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Hetland / Sundby / Gjerdalen)
2009 – Lahti 1st, freestyle sprint
2009 – Trondheim 2nd, classical sprint
2009 – Beitostølen 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Rønning / Sundby / Hafsås)
2009 – Kuusamo 1st, 15 km classical
2009 – Rogla 1st, classical sprint
2009 – Rogla 1st, 30 km classical mass start
2010 – Drammen 2nd, classical sprint
2010 – Holmenkollen 1st, 50 km freestyle mass start
2010 – La Clusaz 2nd, 30 km freestyle mass start
2010 – La Clusaz 3rd, 4 x 10 km relay (with Rønning / Sundby / Gjerdalen)
2011 – Drammen 3rd, 15 km classical
2011 – Drammen 3rd, freestyle sprint
2011 – Sjusjøen 2nd, 15 km freestyle
2011 – Sjusjoen 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Rønning / Krogh / Berger)
2011 – Davos 1st, 30 km freestyle
2011 – Rogla 1st, 15 km classical mass start
2012 – Nové Město 1st, 4 x 10 km relay (with Rønning / Dyrhaug / Sundby)
2012 – Gällivare 1st, 4 x 7.5 km relay (with Rønning / Sundby / Sjur Roethe)
2013 – Sochi 1st, freestyle sprint
2013 – Lahti 1st, 15 km classical
2013 – Drammen 1st, classical sprint
2013 – Lillehammer 3rd, 4 x 7.5 km relay (with Goldberg / Toenseth / Sundby)
Stage World Cup podiums
2007 – Asiago 3rd, freestyle sprint (Tour de Ski)
2008 – Asiago 1st, freestyle sprint (Tour de Ski)
2008 – Oberhof 3rd, 3.7 km freestyle (Tour de Ski)
2009 – Nové Město 1st, freesyle sprint (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Oberhof 1st, 3.7 km freestyle (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Oberhof 1st, 15 km classical pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Oberhof 2nd, classical sprint (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Cortina-Toblach 1st, 30 km freestyle pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Toblach 3rd, 10 km classical (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Val di Fiemme 2nd, 20 km classical mass start (Tour de Ski)
2010 – Stockholm 2nd, classical sprint (Season Finale)
2010 – Falun 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon (Season Finale)
2010 – Oberhof 3rd, 3.7 km freestyle (Tour de Ski)
2011 – Toblach 3rd, freestyle sprint (Tour de Ski)
2011 – Cortina-Toblach 3rd, 30 km freestyle pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2011 – Val di Fiemme 1st, 20 km classical mass start (Tour de Ski)
2011 – Stockholm 2nd, classical sprint (Season Finale)
2011 – Falun 2nd, 3.3 km classical (Season Finale)
2011 – Falun 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon (Season Finale)
2011 – Kuusamo 1st, 10 km freestyle (Season Opening)
2011 – Oberhof 1st, 3.7 km freestyle (Tour de Ski)
2011 – Oberhof 2nd, 15 km classical pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2012 – Oberstdorf 1st, 2 x 10 km skiathlon (Tour de Ski)
2012 – Toblach 2nd, freestyle sprint (Tour de Ski)
2012 – Cortina-Toblach 2nd, 30 km freestyle pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2012 – Kuusamo 2nd, classical sprint (Season Opening)
2012 – Kuusamo 2nd, 10 km freestyle (Season Opening)
2012 – Oberhof 1st, 4 km freestyle (Tour de Ski)
2012 – Oberhof 3rd, 15 km classical pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2013 – Cortina-Toblach 1st, 30 km freestyle pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2013 – Toblach 2nd, 5 km classical (Tour de Ski)
2013 – Stockholm 1st, classical sprint (Season Finale)
2013 – Falun 1st, 3.75 km freestyle (Season Finale)
2014 – Cortina-Toblach 2nd, 30 km freestyle pursuit (Tour de Ski)
2014 – Val di Fiemme 1st, 10 km classical (Tour de Ski)
Individual World Cup
1st x 13
2nd x 5
3rd x 3
Team World Cup
1st x 8
2nd x 1
3rd x 2
Stage World Cup
1st x 16
2nd x 12
3rd x 7


  1. ^ "Skifabrikkene sloss om Northug" [Ski manufacturers fighting to acquire Northug]. 2005-01-01. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  2. ^ Norwegian National team Selection For 2006–2007
  3. ^ "resultats". FIS-Ski. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  4. ^ "resultats". FIS-Ski. 2006-03-19. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  5. ^ "standings". FIS-Ski. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Så mye tjener Northug på sin Red Bull-avtale" (in Norwegian). TV 2. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Petter Northug Jr". Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ Northug, Hellner Survive First Day of Poker World Series
  15. ^ Northug: – Jeg var sjåfør av ulykkesbilen (Norwegian) NRK. Retrieved 4 May 2014
  16. ^ Northug innrømmer at han kjørte ulykkesbilen og at han hadde promille (Norwegian) TV2. Retrieved 4 May 2014
  17. ^ Northug innrømmer at han kjørte ulykkesbilen og at han hadde promille (Norwegian) TV2. Retrieved 4 May 2014
  18. ^ Murtnes, Sindre (16 September 2014). "Se hele tiltalen mot Northug". NRK (in Norwegian). Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Nilsen, Amund Aune (1 October 2014). "Ikke redd for kaos under Northug-rettssaken". NRK (in Norwegian). Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Sandberg, Fredrik Økstad (9 October 2014). "Dommen er klar: Northug fikk 50 dagers fengsel". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 10 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Andreas Thorkildsen
Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Thor Hushovd