It’s not how they start, but how they finish, and Simen Hegstad Krueger on Sunday finished strong.
Krueger overcame a crash at the opening gate to win gold in the men’s 30km skiathlon by eight seconds at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The 24-year-old Krueger collided with Russian skiers Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov as the race got underway but was able to recover. He fell to 65th after the crash but climbed atop the podium. Spitsov also was able to recover but just missed the podium. Larkov finished 30th.
The gold medal is Krueger’s first Olympic medal in his first Winter Olympics.
It was an all Norwegian podium, as Martin Johnsrud Sundby earned the silver medal and Hans Christer Holund took home the bronze.
Cross-country skiing has Monday off. The competitions pick back up Tuesday, with both the men’s and women’s individual sprints.
Qualifying begins at 3:30 a.m. EST and can be streamed on NBCOlympics.com.