Olympic Skier Blows 44-Second Lead By Going The Wrong Way

Shola Lee

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Olympic Skier Blows 44-Second Lead By Going The Wrong Way

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Jarl Magnus Riiber, who was representing Norway in the Winter Olympics, missed out on a medal after skiing the wrong way during the men's Nordic combined event.

It's fair to say that Riiber had an eventful start to the Olympics. Having tested positive for Covid he spent two weeks in isolation and was unable to train, meaning he was unfamiliar with the course he would eventually compete on.

The 24-year-old was released from isolation on Monday, February 14 and, undeterred, he performed incredibly at the ski jump.

The Olympian achieved the highest and longest ski jump of the day, with a jump of 142 metres, and put himself in prime position for the cross-country ski event.

In the cross-country part of the combined event, points earned in the ski round translate into a time advantage, which meant that Riiber went first in a staggered start.

However, this is where things started to go downhill. Literally.

Riiber took a wrong turn at the end of his first lap, meaning he started to go the wrong way around the course.

The skier was then forced to turn around and in the time it took to do so, lost out on his lead.

Jarl Magnus Riiber (Alamy)
Jarl Magnus Riiber (Alamy)

Riiber finished in eighth place, while fellow Norwegian Joergen Graabak won gold.

Speaking about the loss after the event, Riiber said 'It’s a silly mistake'. 'It’s not fun to show the world that I maybe wasted a gold medal. I had been locked inside for two weeks, not breathing fresh air. My body is not working. Normally, I’m one of the better skiers and today I was just bad'.

While Riiber was initially in a good position during the race, he still didn't think he'd take the gold, even without the U-turn.

Jarl Magnus Riiber (Alamy)
Jarl Magnus Riiber (Alamy)

He said he 'did not feel completely fit', noting that 'maybe I could have fought for the bronze. I don't think the gold would have been possible anyway'.

Eurosport commentator David Goldstrom weighed in on the mistake, saying: 'That’s so uncharacteristic but also that might be the fact that he’s been stuck in the hotel, he hasn’t been able to train, his familiarity of the course isn’t so good'.

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Topics: News, Sport, Olympics, World News, Viral

Shola Lee
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