A Scottish cross-country skier with Alaska ties announced himself as an Olympic medal hopeful Friday by winning a race — no joke — at the Norwegian national championships.
Andrew Musgrave, a 23-year-old who lived in Anchorage for six years during his childhood, won the race in Lillehammer, beating out 109 of Norway’s best athletes in the freestyle sprint.
That’s the same event in which Kikkan Randall is considered the women’s gold-medal favorite at next month’s Olympics.
Musgrave was born in England, but learned to ski when he was living in Anchorage.
The British ski team’s coach, Roy Young, said in an email that Musgrave’s parents got hooked on the sport as well, and looked for skiing when they returned to Great Britain.
For the last several years, Musgrave has lived and trained in Norway. After winning the race Friday, he told the Norwegian national broadcaster that he’s “just a regular guy from Scotland.”
Norway is the world center of cross country skiing; for a Scottish athlete to win a national championship there is roughly akin to a Russian football team winning the Super Bowl.
“It’s always good fun beating the Norwegians at their own sport,” Musgrave told the BBC.