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Winter Olympics

Norway’s Simen Krueger Wins Gold Despite Breaking Pole and Crashing

Krueger shows us that it’s not about how you start, but how you finish.

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Olympic athletes are considered to be the elite in their sport, and their precise, calculated movements make you think that they are just about perfect. During the men’s 30 kilometer skiathlon in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger reminded us that Olympic athletes are human and make mistakes too during a devastating crash at the opening gate.

During the first 200 meters of the race, the 68 participants started in rows. Krueger slips, breaks a pole, and causes two other athletes, Russia’s Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov, to stumble and fall on top of him. Krueger immediately fell into last place.

“I was completely last in the group,” Krueger said in a statement. “So I had to start the race again and switch focus to catch up with the guys. When I did it, I was (saying to myself), ‘OK, take one lap, two laps, three laps and just get into it again.’ ”

Despite the horrific start, Krueger persisted, crawling up the ranks as the race went on. Krueger eventually passed the 67 other skiers and held a 22 second lead at one point.

Simen Krueger takes the lead during skiathlon

Norwegian Olympic athlete Simen Krueger takes the lead during 30km skiathlon. (Image: NBC)

“It is an indescribable feeling,” Krueger said about winning the gold medal. “It is an amazing day, but it started in the worst way with the fall after the first 100 meters and a broken pole. I was thinking this is over.”

This is Krueger’s first gold medal in his first Winter Olympics, and it goes to show that it’s not about how you start, but how you finish.

Arianna is a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work. You can reach her at arianna@yogawithmimosas.com.

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