The sun never rises. It lights up shortly after nine in the morning and at half past two the lights are already on, announcing Christmas but also giving a sign of life in the homes and cottages you meet on the city streets. Lofoten. So from mid-November to mid-January. It is the polar night where the darkness is blue, where the moon accompanies you almost into the afternoon, where the days end quickly and the rhythms become slower and more intimate, as you often stand with your nose up hoping to spot a dazzling sign of the northern lights in the sky. It is Norway that goes from Tromso to Harstad by a European road, some submarine tunnels and some icy roads. An archipelago that takes your breath away, a magical mix of fjords and fishermen’s houses, of cod left to dry, of Viking lands that became provinces, of snow, ice and water touching each other and desperately awaiting the return of the sun from the east. A powerful nature that seems to hibernate a bit like bears have been waiting a little longer in these parts this year, perhaps because of the heat. But of course it’s not hot. So you wonder how in these parts you can, in addition to cross-country skiing and one of the strongest national teams ever, even ride bicycles, run, play tennis, in short, play sports and produce champions. American journalist Tom Farry authored some time ago the book” Starting the Game: An All-American Race to Make Our Children’s Champions,” Try to explain this through research published in The New York Times. He wanted to understand how the United States managed to become a global sporting superpower while producing such an overweight and physically inactive population, and looked for alternative paradigms, and came across the Norwegian sports system. “Imagine a society in which 93% of children grow up playing organized sports, where costs are low, economic barriers to entry are few, and where adults don’t begin to separate the weak from the strong until children are grown up, they are fully developed physically and not clearly articulating their interests.” – wrote. – Well, this is Norway …. “. Not only. You pass the icy roads that cross the archipelago and you come across schoolchildren with their bags over their shoulders, gloves and masks, going to school with a tenth of a degree below zero without having to be accompanied by a car right in front of the entrance. It happens from our side because it might be raining. “This is how it works here,” explains Roberta, a tour guide in Norway. In summer and winter, the little ones are used to being outside. Does mom have to shovel snow to clean the front door? Or skiing, whatever the weather…”. And then many things are explained. There is a sovereign wealth fund that provides the needed economic calm; There is a rigor taught by compulsory military service for boys and optional for girls; There are structures and there are government funds that support children’s sports. in a bargain. All 54 sports federations have signed a charter committing to respect children’s rights in sport. They cannot participate in any national league before the age of 13 and in any regional league before the age of 11. Violation of the rules by the association or club will result in disqualification from government benefits. Happy, but above all a respectful principle to be taken as a model by the many youth coaches of our area and above all by the many parents convinced that they always have children to suggest, support and train by replacing coaches. In Norway, on the other hand, children’s motivation is primarily because the principle is that “in a small country of five million, you can’t afford to lose children on the streets just because sport isn’t fun…”. Here you ride on cross-country skis as we do on a bike: you go to school, work, play sports. And the fruits come. At the recent Winter Olympics in Beijing, Norway is top of the medal table with 16 golds, 8 silvers and 13 bronzes. It’s not exploitation because in 2018 in PyeongChang, the athletes of King Harald V did almost the same thing. From Bjorn Dahley who has eight Olympic titles and nine world championships, is the athlete who wrote the cross-country skiing legend in Johannes Clayboe who has already won five Olympic medals as well as six world championships and three World Cups, the story never stops. In these parts it is said that if you want to spite the Norwegians you should build a ski lift in their parts. Nuno is eternally correct because even in alpine skiing they never stood back and watched. From Andre Amodet to me Lacey KeuseFrom Axel Svindal to me Henrich Christophersen as far as Alexander Amudet Kilde They were showered with world titles and Olympic medals. And that’s not all. in cycling Tobias Voss, Riding in the ranks of Jumbo Visma, he has already won the Tour de l’avenir and the World Time Trial Championship. in athletics Karsten Warholm He was the Olympic champion in the 400m hurdles at Tokyo 2020 and the world record holder in the discipline with a time of 45.94. Jacob Ingebrigtsen Also in Tokyo, the Olympic champion in the 1500 meters was 202 degrees. in tennis Casper Road He’s come back from a historic semi-final at the Turin Masters and is one of the circuit’s rising stars. in soccer Erling Haaland, Who now plays for Manchester City, is the strongest striker in the world and in these parts (but not only in these parts) national glory. Almost as much Magnus Carlsen But he plays chess. World Champion since 2013, he became a Grand Master in 2004, at the age of 13 years, 4 months, and 27 days. However, his best shot is to put almost all of the Norwegians in front of the chessboard, thus making his luck and a bit of theirs too. His chess philosophy well sums up the meaning of a country that lives in ice and often in darkness: “Today the world needs a game that teaches how to think more than ever,” he told a Spanish journalist on the eve of the World Cup del Paes, “because the life we ​​lead does not encourage us to do so. I mean the rush, the improper use of social networks, the amount of messages that get everywhere that you have to respond to. The vast majority of the Norwegian population now respect chess and encourage their children to play it…”

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