Norway: Feeling Olympic

Norway is actually a very young country and has been independent for less than a Century. But it has a long history. In 900 AD, Harold I (called Fairhair) united Norway and became its first king. But this did not last. In 1380, Norway was united with Denmark and slowly became a Danish Colony. During the Napoleonic wars Denmark sided with France, the eventual losers, and in 1814 was forced to give Norway to Sweden. In the turmoil that followed, the Norwegians tried to claim independence by drafting a democratic constitution--but their effort failed. Norway was not free from Swedish rule until 1905 when they at last gained their independence.

In 1994, Norway was given a chance to showcase their country to the rest of the world by hosting the Winter Olympics. Americans mainly remember these Olympics because of the performances of Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen, and the disgraceful antics of Tonya Harding, who planned the attack of Nancy Kerrigan. Other nations thankfully remember more of the action, and less of the antics. In all, 67 countries participated in the winter games. Norway led the field by capturing 26 medals (10 gold). Germany followed by claiming 24 (9 gold), Russia 23 (11 gold), Italy 20 (7 gold), USA 13 (6 gold), and Canada 13 (3 gold). Norwegians remember these games with pride...

About the Scenic Snaps

The photos were taken on the drive from Oslo to Lillehammer. The route follows Norway's most fertile lands and the lovely Lake Mjösa.

  • The huge flag hanging in the Clarion Royal Christiania Hotel is from the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
  • Of course they have Coca-Cola in Norway, but did you notice from our lunch photo that they have "Coke Light" instead of "Diet Coke." Very suspicious...
  • The countryside houses and statues are located at Eidsvoll, the site where Norway's democratic constitution was signed in 1814.
  • Notice that the skating facility is built to mimic the underside of a Viking longship.

Copyright 2000, Wayne Pafko trips/ norway/n1/
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