The 2019 FIS world nordic championships are history. More than 100,000 tickets were sold during the two-week competition in Seefeld, Austria—about 12,000 on the busiest days, according to the organizers. Norwegians, like the fan above, were definitely smiling: They won 25 medals, more by far than any other nation. The Austrian organizers should have been happy with the way the events ran, but undoubtedly they were crushed when a full-blown blood-doping scandal erupted, complete with the arrests by German and Austrian police of several athletes, including two Austrian skiers.
Below, a turn during the 50-K race (that’s more than 30 miles on skis), the final event. Below that, Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby leaving the medal area with his son after the 50-k medals were presented. Sundby finished fourth by a fraction of an inch, but it didn’t seem to prevent him from enjoying the festivities or prevent his son from high-fiving Norwegian Sjur Rothe, who beat Sundby for the bronze. Below that, two Swedish wax testers — who hold hands to make sure they both reach the same velocity on a downhill, then let go and see who goes the farthest/fastest. And finally, I suppose all event mascots are entitled to feel a little down when their event is over. The Seefeld mascot, Snowie, bottom, did seem a bit lonely as things wound down. I’ll post a gallery from the events when I get back home next week.