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Fourth-Place Medal

Norway says there's a ski-wax conspiracy after poor showing in cross-country skiing

Mike Oz
Fourth-Place Medal
Biathlon - Winter Olympics Day 10
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Norway thinks there's a conspiracy afoot after its poor showing in cross-country skiing. (Getty Images)

After both its male and female relay teams failed to medal in the week's cross-country skiing competition, one Norway skiing official says there's a conspiracy against his team. 

The men finished fourth in Sunday's relay after the women finished fifth Saturday. Both were poor enough for Knut Nystad, Norway's chief ski lubricant, to declare this a "tragedy" and "absolutely a crisis."

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He put together an emergency meeting of Norway's ski personnel Sunday, according to Norwegian news agency The Local, and decided there was only one explanation. His team wasn't getting the best ski wax.

"We have received confirmation that others have things that we have not received," Knut Nystad said in a news conference in Sochi, although he refused to name the offending supplier.

"There's always been talk that Norway is dominant," he said explaining why the product has been withheld. "Now they have a chance to create alternative winners, which in the long-term is positive for the sport. But it's damn annoying."


A ski-wax conspiracy, eh? Sounds treacherous. Canadian ice-dancing fans and luge fans are probably nodding along like "Yep, told you, these Olympics are shady."

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This much is true: Norway is a traditional power in cross-country skiing. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, the men's relay team won silver while the women's team won gold. Norway was the overall cross-country medal winner in 2010. It also has the most overall golds at the Sochi Games and were favored to at least medal in the relays.

Lest you think this is just one angry ski technician, you'll be thrilled to know this issue has reached Norway's prime minister. More from The Local:

Meanwhile, the question of whether the wax can take all the blame for Norway's disappointing performance has become such a huge debate in Norway that the country's Prime Minister has weighed in on the issue, although she stopped short of promising government money for wax research.
"It's either the skis, the wax, or something else which is not quite right," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Sunday when asked about the men's relay. "No, I do not think it is the treasury's responsibility to fund this," she said.

And it better not come out of Norway curling team's pants budget either.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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