To view and do sports of snow and ice

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

This winter’s world championships are scheduled for all snow and ice sports. The Norwegian entries have yet to be officially announced, but the weight of tradition suggests that Norway will enter teams and individual athletes in most of the events.

Snow sports viewing will be at a high from February 2 through March 18, when the odds look good for Norwegian competitors in four World Championships. The Nordic Ski Championships are first, starting February 2 in Lahti, Finland, followed by the Alpine Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland; the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria; and the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Norway is not as prominent a power in the ice sports, but viewer appeal remains second only to skiing and in spirit is reminiscent of the pre-TV days (before the 1960s in Norway), when speed skating meets and ice hockey games filled stadiums. Today, speed skating is sports news year round, and one world speed skating speed record is held by a Norwegian; in 2005 in Calgary, Eskil Ervik set the 3000 meter event record with an average skating speed of 30.9 mph.

In recreational winter sports, skiing still is top in Norway. An estimated quarter of the population skis regularly; the woodlands surrounding Oslo still make up the world’s largest cross-country skiing area; and throughout the country cross-country skiing is part of school physical education, sometimes aided by ski instructors brought in to teach immigrant children who haven’t learned to ski from their parents, as most ethnic Norwegian children do.

Events, winter 2016-2017
Snow sports:
• Feb. 2 – Mar. 3: FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, Lahti, Finland.
• Feb. 6-19: FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, St. Moritz, Switzerland.
• Feb. 8-19: Biathlon World Championships, Hochfilzen, Austria.
• Mar. 7-19: FIS World Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships, Sierra Nevada, Spain.

Ice sports:
• Nov. 4, 2016 – Feb. 12, 2017, ISU World Cup Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating Series, 12 cities in North America, Europe, and Asia.
• Jan. 29 – Feb. 5: Bandy World Championship, Sandviken, Sweden.
• Mar. 29 – Apr. 2, World Figure Skating Championships, Helsinki, Finland.
• Mar. 31 – Apr. 7: Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, WW, Plymouth, Michigan.
• May 5-21: Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships, WM, Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 21, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.