Norway ski relay team blames poor wax for disappointing Sochi finish

Feb. 17, 2014 at 11:06 AM
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SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A difference in ski wax caused the disappointing finish of Norway's men's relay ski team at the Sochi Olympics, the team's head ski wax technician said Monday.

Knut Nystad accused a ski wax supplier of withholding new products that would have helped the team, which was favored in the event, from coming in fourth on Sunday, reported.

"We have received confirmation that [other teams] have things that we have not received," Nystad said at a news conference in Sochi.

Norway is considered dominant in the sport and "now they have a chance to create alternative winners," he said.

Nystad did not name the supplier.

Norway's women's team also had a lackluster showing Saturday, finishing in fifth place.

Team member Eldar Ronning said his skis "felt very heavy" after the first three kilometers.

The Norwegian women's team reported similar experiences.

Fellow relay member Petter Northug used a different wax than his teammates and said his performance "went well." He said other team members told him their skis "felt wrong."

Marcus Hellner, who skied the last leg of the 4x10 kilometer relay for the victorious Swedish team, admitted waxing was partially responsible for their success.

"The waxing is very tough and makes a very big difference on this snow," he said. "We have succeeded here with our skis."

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