Norway grapples with Olympic women's relay fiasco

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 15, 2014 at 9:58 am •  Published: February 15, 2014

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — After seven cross-country skiing events at the Sochi Olympics, Norway has three golds, a silver and three bronze medals.

And yet, suddenly the team is in a crisis.

Especially after Norway failed to even medal in the women's 4x5-kilometer relay on Saturday, a result that came as a major shock and followed a number of disappointing performances in Sochi in the country's top sport.

Now the skiers, coaches, wax technicians and media are all desperately looking for answers ahead of the men's relay on Sunday — for many Norwegians the most important event of the Winter Olympics.

"The way it looks now, it's absolutely a crisis," Norway's head wax technician Knut Nystad told broadcaster TV2 after the women's relay fiasco. "This is a tragedy."

Norway was seen as almost unbeatable in the 4x5K race but finished fifth, nearly a minute behind winner Sweden. Afterward, the Norwegian skiers said the wax team had gotten the setup wrong for the warm conditions, making it impossible to compete.

"Everybody saw that the skis were not good," Therese Johaug said. "But we do our best and I know that the men in the (wax) cabins do their best, but other nations were much better today."

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