Norwegian Language Blog

Norway at the 2012 Olympics Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Norway and the world

Heia Norge! Go Norway! Cheering is easy in Norwegian. This Saturday, heiaropene (the cheers, literally ’the cheer shouts’) resonated at full throttle in London’s Basketball Arena, as the Norwegian håndball [HONbahl] (handball) team beat the ladies from Montenegro 26–23. The reigning verdensmestre (world champions) and Europa-mestre could now call themselves Olympic champions as well.

Besides the gold medal brought home by Heidi Løke, Marit Malm Frafjord, Linn Jørum Sulland and the other håndballspillere (handball players), the London OL [oh-el] (short for Olympiske Leker, ’Olympic Games’) didn’t yield many medaljer for the Norwegians: just one more of gull, one sølv [’sell’ with rounded lips] and one bronse [BRONGseh or BRONseh]. With a total of four medals, it’s been one of the meagrest Olympic adventures in the history of Norway. By comparison, the country won nine medals in the Beijing sommer-OL in 2008.

Norway’s other gold medal was won by Eirik Verås Larsen, who successfully outpaddled his opponents in the 1 km kano (canoe) final. The silver and bronze medals were won in the disciplines of fencing and cycling, respectively.

Norge has always been a nation of athletes, and most Norwegians are stolt/e (proud, in the plural) of their country and its achievements. Therefore, it hurts when something goes wrong!

Norwegian star spydkaster (javelin thrower) Andreas Thorkildsen, who won a gold medal back in Beijing, made almost a million Norwegians tune in to NRK, the Norwegian equivalent to BBC, in order to watch the javelin final. In the end, however, he only made it to a 6th place. As the champion told reporters afterwards: Det her var drittdårlig. (This was bad as cr*p.)

At least håndballjentene (the handball girls) saved some of Norway’s ære (honour). And without a doubt the skilled Norwegian skiers will again prove their worth at the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2014…

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


  1. Jordy:


    How do you pronounce “håndballjentene” and “drittdårlig”?


    – Some English boy 🙂

  2. Jordy:

    Oops, takk*

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Jordy Hei Jordy,

      try HON-bahl-YENT-eh-neh & DRIT-dore-lee

      Good luck! 🙂


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