Football is the most popular sport in Norway based on active participation according to this.andybb said:I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but in Norway XC-skiing is the most popular sport - narrowly beating biathlon. Just read here: http://sport.aftenposten.no/sport/langrenn/article267740.ece
Remember that it's much more usual for small kids who play football regularly to participate in organised football than it is for kids and others who ski regularly to participate in organized skiing.northstar said:
I meant as in number of participants. It should be fairly obvious as when natural selection was mentioned we weren't discussing whether Norway had the best TV audienceandybb said:I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but in Norway XC-skiing is the most popular sport - narrowly beating biathlon. Just read here: http://sport.aftenposten.no/sport/langrenn/article267740.ece
the non bolded bit is nonsense and even if it wasn't, it is completely pointless when we're discussing whether xc skiing gets the top talent or not.blueskies said:Skiing might still be bigger as an activity though, at least for the adult population.
Can you please elaborate? Why do you apply premises to my reasoning which were never there? The discussion was "biggest sport". I would also suggest that it's difficult to compare talent for football and talent for skiing. It's not always a competition.workingclasshero said:the non bolded bit is nonsense and even if it wasn't, it is completely pointless when we're discussing whether xc skiing gets the top talent or not.
What we were discussing was someone's claim that xc skiing gets all the best sporting talent in Norway. Your mate dukoff said the best Norwegian athletic prospects choose skiing and quoted some nonsense Bjorn Ferry had said.blueskies said:Can you please elaborate? Why do you apply premises to my reasoning which were never there? The discussion was "biggest sport". I would also suggest that it's difficult to compare talent for football and talent for skiing. It's not always a competition.
Most people stop playing football actively when they get in their 30s. They don't stop skiing.. People in norway go to the hytte, and they ski. That means they're using skiing as an activity.
The ratio between men and women who play football actively when they are adults, is a lot higher than the ratio between men and women who ski. The entire family ski.
Why is it nonsense? There are no numbers available to me that can support my suggestion. It's simply an educated suggestion/possibility.
it's truly ironic - your bolded words above (which are a better, simpler version of the same concern expressed in my questions above) lead me to post here an interesting observation from earlier today...workingclasshero said:What we were discussing was someone's claim that xc skiing gets all the best sporting talent in Norway. Your mate dukoff said the best Norwegian athletic prospects choose skiing ......
Ok this is an answer to several posters..python said:i saw some arguments above that a relatively small nation (about 5mln) can produce a dominating breed of super nordic skiers through a process of natural selection. THAT, according to some, was the reason for their CLEAN domination over the rest of the world’s best but badly doped elite skiers in the 90’s.
before it makes sense to me (and i do not mean it dismissively) such statements need some serious validation. yes, because blood doping was so prevalent in the sport in the 90s, that the chief anti-doping officer of the sport (dr saltin), someone with an unlimited access to the relevant data and who can hardly be accused of bias, called it ‘a cultural problem in the sport’. he went even further, the distinguished scientist said it was very unlikely to win clean in that era.
so I am asking 2 questions in this regard:
1. why other tradition-rich nations, like for instance, bike-crazy france, failed to produce the super-breed through a natural selection. in fact, their recent history proved they had to resorted to blood doping too (virenique etc come to mind) in order to keep their share of the pie. moreover, when they decided to clean their act (post-festina), they got shoved to the back of the doped up peloton for over a decade……as expected, good old dope trumped the natural selection.
2. a natural selection, whilst a valid concept, is a complex process and must be based on more than a speculation of a cn forum contributor with an agenda . so, in that regard, i am asking:
does anyone have any solid, verifiable xc skiing population statistics/studies encompassing all age groups as to the number of competitive/registered skiers mapped by the major xc nations (norway, sweden, russia, finland, italy….) and the numbers that progressed to the elite level.
to me, the answer to the last question would form a rational beginning beyond a mere speculation like, ‘because we love skiing’.
Whatever happened, it's a bit difficult to directly compare nowadays skiing with 90's skiing. The sport have changed a lot.the sceptic said:Strange that norwegians arent winning every race with 2-3 minutes now that they dont have to compete against the EPO monsters anymore. Did everyone else learn how to prepare skis at exactly the same time they had to stop doping?
You forgot to mention that he beat Alsgaard in the 10km. Picking results like this isn't really proving anything.RdBiker said:How did that happen? Neither was mentioned (Smirnov's 198 was from '95) on the documentary concerning the Hb limits in Lahti, so neither was pushing the limits so both were 'clean'
Ok, Trondheim was a Freestyle race but even looking at the 50K C race Smirnov was 19. with 9min behind the winner.
I think you're trying to obfuscate the point. Let me try with a specific example.dukoff said:1-2% between 1st-20th is simply not correct. I have ran these numbers over a number of years, it's not something I just take out of thin air. Which, no offense, but I think you did, as yours are incorrect. Here is for 50k olympics since 1924 to 1992, difference 1st to 8th:
Check the 15k from few days ago, similar numbers.
You can not compare this situation to cycling. Cycling is a top sport in a number of countries, so such natural selection can not be argued to exist. XC is completely unique in this respect. The position xc has in Norway compared to everywhere else is a completely different system to analyze.
There are many ways to analyze this, but it really doesn't take much more complexity than to imagine that in other countries, a "similar Dæhlie" would chose a different sport. How to analyze the imaginary situation he instead chose xc? You take Dæhlie away, and analyze that field instead. The thing is that the difference between no 1 and 2, in any country is substantial. What would TDF have looked like without Armstrong, without Contador? Take away any single athlete, and everything is turned on it's head.
The only way this argument would have little significance is as you rightly suggest, if the difference from 1st to 20th would be something like 1-2%. But that is simply not correct.
I know very well what happened in cycling. I read Tyler's book, and to be honest I'm a big conspiracy theorist on probably more fields than you can guess. But in all matters I hate opinion and care for two things deeply; the truth, and evidence for it. And in lack of conclusive evidence, the balancing of what exists.
An argument like "that's what Armstrong said", or "this was the wild 90s" are not exactly good "data points".
Why wouldn't it be?! Are you really claiming that Norwegians are somehow more ethical and genetically superior than the rest of the world? Nothing had really changed since 90's. The amounts used have only become smaller but the doping is still here. It's all about microdosing now. You cannot just shoot EPO until your blood becomes syrup anymore.blueskies said:And recent success is still because of doping?
You are cherry-picking results to support an argument. Just looking at the most recent ones, are not much different from 90s:Tubeless said:I think you're trying to obfuscate the point. Let me try with a specific example.
Let's use this year's WC opener as the example, 30th place was 1:15 off the lead, or 4.1% of the winner's time:
Let's then pick a race from distant past, at a time when EPO was already well known, but yet not all nations had realized how necessary it was to keep up. Lillehammer Olympics in 1994, 30 km freestyle. Difference from 1st to 30th is 10.1%:
The numbers are similar if you look at the Albertville Olympics in 1992. In the latter 1990's, EPO use became more and more common - just about everyone was using it, as if you did not, you might as well not race. When the Hb limits were established, the use of plasma expanders to get around the controls required a new level of sophistication - which benefited the bigger teams.
The logical explanation is that the tighter competition today is a result of better doping controls - and lower Hb limits. During the wild 1990's, a non-doper would race with a typical Hb of 140-150 while some (such as Fauner & Smirnov), raced with an Hb above 190. Tyler's book details one of his own uphill time trials where he improved by 3 minutes over a 32 minute course in 2 months - after a period of EPO use.
A simple translation: a non-doper had zero chance during the 1990's to crack top 10, and perhaps even top 20. This was true in cycling, and there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest cross-country skiing was just as dirty. All top nations were involved. To say one country was the exception due to "natural selection" is to defy simple logic.
i think there is a misplaced emphasis on gaps or perhaps it's an intentional effort to fit a particular scenario. clearly gaps between the 1st and the 20th will ALWAYS be wider than between the podium winners. at all times...but looking too wide, as is generally the case, serves to shift the focus away.MrRoboto said:If you go further back, before EPO, you will find a lot of huge gaps too.
In a debate program broadcasted two days later on SVT, the Editor in Chief Uppdrag Granskning, Nils Hansson answered the very upset Norwegian representatives - former information director of the Norwegian Ski Federation Otto Ulseth and former trainer for the Norwegian cross country national team Dag Kaas, on their threats about bringing SVT to criminal court for broadcasting the program:Question from caller Fredrik: If the Norwegian and Swedish Ski Federations don’t have anything to hide, how come they don’t present values from the tests that have been made?
Uppdrag Granskning/Hasse Svens: We have directed that question several times to the Norwegian Ski Federation but not a single test result has been presented. If Dählies HB-values were wrong, we’ve asked: What’s the correct value? But no answer.
Question from caller Anders: What source do you have for the HB-values of Dählie an Jevne, they didn’t come from the Finish list?
Uppdrag Granskning/Hasse Svens: That is a secret source.
And di Centa from this article in New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/14/sports/winter-olympics-di-centa-of-italy-shouts-volare-to-freestyle-gold.html:It [Smirnov’s victory] also came at the expense of Smirnov's Norwegian friends Bjorn Daehlie and Vegard Ulvang, who finished fourth and 10th.
Since then, he has begun pitching coffee on Norwegian television and continued his adventures with Ulvang, spending three weeks climbing mountains and riding horses with him in Mongolia last summer.
The two skiers first met at the World Junior Championships in 1982 but were unable to develop a friendship until Smirnov left the Soviet Union in 1991.
Today it seems to be a widespread consensus that di Centa, a Conconi protégé and Smirnov was doped. What about the two Norwegian friends which were even more successful in the forests? How come no Norwegian journalists hasn’t dug into those connections?Di Centa trained in the illustrious company of Vladimir Smirnov, the skier from Kazakhstan who has dominated the men's World Cup circuit this year.
"I think Vladimir will win," she said when asked for her prediction for Monday's first men's race, the 30-kilometer freestyle.
Despite such allegiance to Smirnov, Di Centa is best known in these parts for her rather cryptic relationship with Vegard Ulvang, local cross-country superhero and the most eligible bachelor in Norway
Blood transfusions were not even against the rules before 1984, and are known to have happened a early as 1970's. Lasse Viren of Finland won 5000 & 10000 meter gold in track & field in 1972 and 1976 - and was among the first athletes to recognize that in addition to a coach, you also need a good doctor.MrRoboto said:If you go further back, before EPO, you will find a lot of huge gaps too.
Ok, one more angle at getting to the main point. If EPO can give a trained athlete up to 10% boost, how it is possible for a clean athlete to beat the doped-up one?dukoff said:You are cherry-picking results to support an argument. Just looking at the most recent ones, are not much different from 90s:
There are so many things in xc that throws results up from one race to the next, so it's really important to look at a continuous series of data. Single events can't be analyzed.
When you do that, the changes are gradual going back many decades. There are some outliers from Myllyla and Muehlegg when they got caught, but otherwise I think it's quite stable trends.
I'm not saying of course there wasn't doping in xc. To be specific, 50% of the field was doped. But I don't believe the impact on the top finishing race times in the 90s have been very substantial. There is nothing I've seen so far to prove that.
If you want to show some data for argument, show an Olympic games series from 1924, or world championships, from the beginning. And include top 8 for sensitivity. Top 30 may perhaps skew numbers a bit due to development of participation.
Don't just pick out a race or two, it has no value.
Humans aren't machines. It's not like they all start out at the same level. I got my *ss handed to me in basketball by Americans. No doping could change that.Tubeless said:Ok, one more angle at getting to the main point. If EPO can give a trained athlete up to 10% boost, how it is possible for a clean athlete to beat the doped-up one?
Specifically, we now know that at least the Italians, Finns, Russians, and Kazakhstanis were using blood boosters during the 1990s - yet the top Norwegians were often beating these dopers throughout the season.
Your assertion is that "natural selection" gives Norway the edge to win. If today's field is clean, why aren't Norwegians now beating everyone else by that 10% margin?
What then happened in 2004-2007 when Germany, a tiny country in cross-country skiing produced 4 consecutive world cup overall winners - which were 3 different skiers? Did Norway's superiority in "natural selection" fail to find a suitable male skier capable of winning during that period?Mr. Brooks said:#python: I notice that you don’t seem to take kindly to newcomers. I still hope that you may find these figures of some interest. They indicate the number of currently active male XC athletes with a valid FIS license, nations selected by me.
Of course, this is just the top of the iceberg, as many racers do not care to apply for a FIS license (young racers, racers only interested in local races etc.). In Norway the total number of licensed racers in the 2011/12 season was 8.684, up from 7.855 the previous season. I do not have corresponding figures for other nations.
http://www.skiforbundet.no/langrenn/Info/Documents/Langrennskomiteen/LK 2010-2012/Langrennskomiteens Fagmøte juni 2012/Skilisenser 2011-2012.pdf