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Did ski wax conspiracy cause Norway’s cross-country relay woes?

Norway's Weng France's Jean and Russia's Ivanova ski during women's cross-country 4 x 5km relay event at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Norway’s Heidi Weng, France’s Auroreand Jean and Russia’s Julia Ivanova (2nd L-R) ski during the women’s cross-country 4 x 5km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)


The Olympics are serious business for every country that competes in them. But some countries have a certain Olympic sport that it considers as Serious Business - capital S, capital B.

As we’re reminded of every four winters, Norway’s Serious Business is in cross-country skiing. The Sochi Games have seen the country surpass the 100-medal mark overall in cross-country alone.

So far in Sochi, they’ve claimed three individual CC golds and seven CC medals altogether.

But fans back home are frustrated as of late after Norway’s men’s and women’s relay teams came away with no medals at all last weekend.

Taking the brunt of the criticism is Norway’s head wax technician, Knut Nystad, who called the medal-less results a “big mystery” in a post-race press conference.

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It’s bad enough that his team lost both events. It’s even worse that Sweden, their arch-rivals in the sport, won the gold in each as well.

So what happened?

Nystad and his fellow wax techs have taken heat for failing to properly prepare the Norwegian’s skis for the Sochi course, which has seen warm conditions in these Games.

And to Nystad, there could be a waxing conspiracy at work, too.

“I wish I had the best products, preferably the stuff the Swedes have,” he said according to the Associated Press. “There are rumors that certain producers favor certain countries. We’ve heard that rumor from two distributors.

”...Norway is seen as the dominant nation,” he added, while not noting which products he said he didn’t have access to. “There’s been talk that Norway has been too dominant. Long-term, that’s good for the sport. But right now, it’s incredibly irritating for us.”

However, those claims have been denied by rival teams and wax makers who say everybody gets access to the same products.

And so, it would appear that the hot seat that Nystad’s sitting on right now could stand to get hotter tomorrow, which will see the men’s and women’s team sprints in classic technique.

Follow @estradawriting