KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — For Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, a fourth-place finish never felt so good.
The Norwegian cross-country skier was back on the snow on Tuesday, competing in the women's freestyle sprint at the Sochi Olympics four days after her younger brother died on the eve of the games.
The death of Sten Anders Jacobsen, which came "suddenly and unexpectedly" according to the Norwegian team, has cast a pall over the world's best cross-country squad since then and became one of the talking points of the games after the country's skiers wore black armbands in his honor during the women's skiathlon on Saturday, drawing a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee.
While Jacobsen's race may not represent closure, it was a step toward normality again for Norway ahead of the coming events.
"I think I'm the most satisfied fourth-place finisher at the Sochi Olympics," Jacobsen said in a press release sent out by the team. She did not talk to reporters after the sprint final.
Fourth is often considered the worst place to finish at the Olympics as it's just outside the medals, but there was no doubting Jacobsen's sincerity in her statement. She would have had a chance at a medal had she not broken a pole in the final, but had to watch teammates Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg take silver and gold instead.