Norwegian 2022 Winter Olympians and gold medalists

The 2022 Winter Olympics were really good from a Norwegian standpoint. The Norwegian athletes ended up winning a total of 37 medals, 16 of which were gold medals, and thus set a new record of the most won gold medals during a single Winter Olympics. I’ve always enjoyed the Winter Olympics and was inspired to paint several of the Olympians, which ended up in this series of nine images, celebrating the gold medal winners.

Three of these illustrations were submitted to the 3x3 International Illustration Award Show no. 19 (2022), and my entry was awarded a merit!

Portraits of Birk Ruud as he is performing mid-air tricks done during the Big Air finals.

Birk Ruud - Big Air

Media: Digital.

The Freeski Big Air competition is entirely new event to take place during the 2022 Winter Olympics, though it had been announced many years earlier. Back in 2013 Birk Ruud set himself the goal to win a gold medal during the 2022 Olympics, a dream he made come true.

During the finals he scored 187.75 points during his first two runs (94,50 and 93.25, respectively), meaning he had already won the gold medal before setting out for his final run. As the gold was already secured he completed his final run while holding the Norwegian flag.

A painting showing the four members who took part in the Biathlon mixed relay competition. Marte Olsbu Røiseland is portrayed during a standing shoot, with her weapon disappearing off the edge of the canvas. In the top left Tarjei Bø is pictured skiing, with his brother, Johannes Thingnes Bø painted skiing in the bottom left. Tiril Eckoff is painted in the bottom right, also skiing.

Norway's Biathlon team - Mixed relay

Media: Digital.

Norway’s biathlon mixed relay team consisted of Marte Olsbu Røiseland, Tiril Eckhoff, Tarjei Bø and Johannes Thingnes Bø. The relay itself started with a tiny bit of drama for the Norwegian team. Before the start someone had seen that something fell of Marte’s weapon before she went to the start area. It was found a bit later on, and turned out ot be the iris of the sight of her weapon, without it she’d struggle to hit the targets. Luckily, as Marte did the first leg of the relay, and for the first shoot each biathlete has to go to assigned shooting lanes, meaning the Norwegian team were able place the iris on her allotted space. She was also notified prior to getting to her shooting lane, so she was able to calmly attach the iris before starting her first shoot.

The Norwegian Biathlon team was Norway’s most winning team during the 2022 Olympics, gathering a total of 14 medals, six of these were gold medals. Johannes Thingnes Bø and Marte Olsbu Røiseland were the most winning Norwegian athletes of the Olympics, both gathering a total of five medals each.

Marte Olsbu Røiseland won a medal in each of the individual events, which included two gold medals and two bronze medals. Tiril Eckoff walked away with two individual medal; a silver medal for the women’s mass start, and a bronze medal for the women’s pursuit. The Bø brothers helped secure the victory for both the mixed relay, as well as the men’s relay. In addition Johannes Thingnes Bø gathered two individual gold medals as ell as a bronze medal. While Tarjei Bø gathered his first individual Olympic medal, and went home with both a silver and a bronze medals in individual events.

Illustration of the Norwegian Speed skating team consisting of Peder Kongshaug (front), Hallgeir Engebråten (middle) and Sverre Lunde Pedersen (back). The athletes are pictured twice; once as a big format where you can clearly see Peder Kongshaug's face, and in a much smaller view in front. Behind the athletes a smaller an unknown team is shown skating in the background hinting to how the speed skating pursuit takes place; with two teams on the ice at the same time.

Norway's speed skating - 3000 Men's team pursuit

Media: Digital.

Norwegian speed skating men’s pursuit team consisted of Peder Kongshaug, Hallgeir Engebråten and Sverre Lunde Pedersen.

Sverre Lunde Pedersen was the only member of the team who competed and won the gold medal during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. What is more remarkable about all of this, is that nine months prior to the 2022 Games, Sverre Lunde Pedersen was involved in an bicycle accident. His injuries included two broken arms, a slipped disk in his neck and a punctured lung. It was uncertain that if he was going to fully recover, so it seems a bit of a miracle that he not only recovered, but also managed to be in top form in order to make the Olympics. Winning the gold medal must be an absolute cherry on top!

Portraits of Norway's Nordic Combined team who won the team relay. The image shows both portions of the event; the ski jumping portion of the competition and another cross-country skiing. Espen Bjørnstad (middle) and Jørgen Graabak (top right) are pictured mid-jump while Aspen Andersen (bottom right) and Jens Lurås Oftebro (bottom left) are pictured skiing.

Norway's Nordic combined relay team

Media: Digital.

Winter sports are fun as they sometimes combine different types of sports. For instance, Biathlon is a combination of cross-country skiing and marksmanship. But then there’s Nordic combined, which combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing. The ski jumping is held first, and the scores the athletes get during that competition decide both the order and interval the athletes start the skiing portion of the event. Both parts of the event take place on the same day, but with a little break in-between. For instance the Nordic combined team event held during the Beijing Olympics the ski jumping competition started at 16:00, while the cross-country skiing started at 19:00.

Norway’s Nordic Combined relay team consisted of Espen Bjørnstad, Espen Andersen, Jens Lurås Oftebro and Jørgen Graabak. They jumped as the ninth team in the ski jumping competition, and placed second. Their scores meant they started 8 seconds after the leading Austrian team, in fact the competition was really close, meaning the first four teams all started within the first 12 seconds of the skiing event. The cross-country event was also a close race until the second to last leg, when Oftebro managed to get a few seconds on the other teams, a lead which gave Graabak a head start on the final leg. Graabak increased the the lead, and crossed the finish line almost a minute ahead of the German and Japanese teams.

Two days prior the team competition Graabak and Oftebro also managed to secure individual medals during the Nordic combined Individual large hill/10km, with Graabak winning a gold medal and Oftebro winning the silver.

Portrait of Marte Olsbu Røiseland shown both shooting as well as some poses skiing.

Marte Olsbu Røiseland - Biathlon

Media: Digital.

This was actually the first image in this series, which set it all off. I had been watching the Olympics, and the events I enjoyed the most were the biathlon events.

Not only did Marte manage to win her first individual gold medal in the Olympics, but she ended up medalling in each of the individual biathlon events, winning a total of two individual gold medals and two bronze. Additionally she took part in the mixed relay, where the team managed to win despite a little bit of drama at the beginning.

A composition showing Marius Lindvik through different stages of his jump during the 2022 Olympics.

Marius Lindvik - Ski jumping large hill

Media: Digital.

While Norway have done rather well in the ski jumping competitions for years, it was Marius Lindvik who managed to break the dry spell of wining the Large hill ski jumping competition in the Olympics. In fact, the last time a Norwegian won this event was in 1964.

Portraits showing four biathletes. In the middle Johannes Thingnes Bø stands aiming his rifle at the targets off canvas. In the top left Sturla Holm Lægreid is depicted skiing, Tarjei Bø is depicted as skiing in the bottom left, and Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen skiing in the bottom right corner.

Norway's Biathlon Men's relay team

Media: Digital.

Norway’s team for the biathlon men’s relay consisted of Sturla Holm Lægreid, Tarjei Bø, Johannes Thingnes Bø and Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen. What I find the most fascinating about biathlon is that everything can change during the shooting portions of the events, which the 2022 Olympic Men’s biathlon relay was a perfect example of. For large parts of the competition the Russian Olympic Committee were in the lead, leaving France and Norway behind them fighting for the silver medal. However, during the final shoot the Russian biathlete struggled to hit the targets, giving Norway and France a chance at the gold medal. Norway’s man on the anchor leg, Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen had an amazing last shoot, and went out in the lead with the other teams with little chance to catch up, eventually securing the gold medal for Norway.

Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen also managed to secure a bronze medal in the men’s mass start a few days after the relay. Tarjei Bø competed in his fourth Olympic Games, but during the 2022 Olympics he managed to secure his first individual Olympic medals; a bronze medal during the Sprint and a silver medal during the pursuit. His younger brother Johannes Thingnes Bø also won several individual medals, two gold and a bronze. The Bø brothers also made history as the first siblings to to win medals in the same individual biathlon race at an Olympic Winter Games. They also partook in the mixed relay.

Portrait of Therese Johaug, the Norwegian Cross Country skier, painted in two different poses.

Cross-country skiing- Therese Johaug

Media: Digital.

Therese Johaug won Norway’s first medal in the Bejing Olympics, but that gold medal was also her first individual Olympic Gold medal, despite having participated in two Olympic Games previously. She ended up winning an additional two individual gold medals during the games. While it wasn’t a surprised that the 2022 Winter Olympics would be her last Olympics, it did, however, come as a little bit of a surprise that she announced her retirement in the beginning of March 2022.

During the 30 km Women’s Freestyle competition, Therese set the pace from the get go and stretched the field and ended up in a breakaway group of 7 skiers by the 2km, which was later reduced to only 4 skier. At the 9km mark she broke away from the remaining two pursuers, and skied alone for the remaining 21km. In the end she crossed the finish line, flag in hand, over a minute and a half before Jesse Diggins who won the silver medal.

Portrait of cross country skiers Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (top right and middle) and Erik Valnes (bottom left), both Olympic Gold medals in Cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiing - Men's sprint team

Media: Digital.

The male cross-country skiing team also ended up gathering a few gold medals. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won a total of four medals during the games, an individual gold and bronze, as well a silver in the 4x10km team relay and a gold for the Cross-country team sprint. He won the team sprint with Erik Valnes, who had his Olympic debut during the 2022 games.