In an unprecedented outcome, Ingeborg Kristiansen of Norway won the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the women’s biathlon event at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. For those who haven’t been following this exciting event, it combines the sports of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Athletes race on a cross-country trail, stopping periodically to shoot at targets.
In a surprise move at the start of the race, Kristianiesen allowed the rest of the athletes to take off without her. Instead of trying to catch up with the pack, she took the rifle off her back and started shooting at the contestants ahead of her, taking careful aim at the leaders. After emptying her first magazine, Kristiansen took to her skis and started to pursue the athletes who had escaped her assault. She caught up with them at the first shooting venue and they were, as she later said, “sittende ender”(“sitting ducks”). The Norwegian quickly eliminated the rest of the field as they aimed at the targets instead of trying to shoot back.
“They were concentrating on their performance and didn’t notice the shots they heard were my bullets picking off the people around them. It was too easy, like shooting pickled herring in a barrel.”
Having dispensed with her competitors, Kristianiesensen didn’t bother to fire at the targets at the following shooting venues. Instead, she shot into the air triumphantly, shouting, “jeg er den beste” (“I am the greatest”). Chinese SWAT teams were called in, but they refused to take her down, admiring her initiative and ingenuity. Besides, they said, “the damage had already been done.” In fact, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is considering arming the country’s speed skaters in the hopes of building up their medal count.
Olympics officials contemplated disqualifying the athlete, but they could find nothing in the rules of the sport that forbade killing one’s competitors. At the awards ceremony, Kristianieseniesen was fully armed, just in case someone sought revenge. She graciously received first, the bronze medal, then the silver and finally, the gold, as well as three bouquets of flowers, and smiled proudly as “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” (“Yes, we love this country”) was played and three Norwegian flags were raised above the near-empty auditorium.