Rollerski Vegas

25 Jul

As a complement to his poker playing activities, Norway’s Petter Northug participated in a Las Vegas rollerski showdown against Swedish arch rival Markus Hellner:

This to an admiring crowd of eight in a cramped and flat casino parking lot. Poor Hellner not only got beat, but also was booed, in spite of his clear underdog status. Since Americans always cheer for come-from-behind, longshot contenders, that only confirms the scant audience were all Swede-loathing Norwegians.
When I attended last season’s World Cup sprint races at Oslo’s mythic Holmenkollen venue, Hellner complained to the press about bad treatment from Norwegian fans.
The coverage on the Vegas event didn’t mention any hurt feelings. Markus was surely still in a good mood after beating Northug in the poker part of the competition. That, despite the fact that the Swede, contrary to the Norwegian, never made any pretence to be a serious player.
Since the parking lot race failed to draw a crowd, it would have been far better to stage the event on a road leading up into the higher-than-anywhere-in-Norway mountains surrounding the Vegas area. That would be the true test of the man. A 15km climb under the scorching desert sun in the sweltering heat.

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