Terry McNatt and I have been doing a little work on the side as ski reporters.
We are the first to break this exciting story.
In a surprise move late last night the bitterly partisan U.S. Congress unanimously voted immediate American citizenship for Norwegian superstar Petter Northug. Later today in a Rose Garden ceremony President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law. "When I declared Nordic skiing to be the new national pastime two years ago I was scoffed at. But with the threat of a lockout in football, the continuing steroid scandal in baseball, and my own basketball injury requiring 12 stitches, a lot of folks have joined my vision of our country uniting around a clean, healthy, and most importantly, a lifelong sport".
Most observers expected Northug to reject the offer of citizenship, but at a raucous news conference in Oslo this morning he welcomed it enthusiastically.
"I'm still angry about not being selected for the Olympic team for Torino. I've had it with the Norwegian Ski Federation and Norway in general. I’ve labored through enough sunless winters and lutefisk dinners to last me a lifetime.
Besides, I hear that USSA is the best ski federation in the world. A really top-notch organization." After an expletive-filled rant about the many serious problems with Norwegian ski racing, Northug brightened when asked about how he'll fit in on the American team. "I can't wait to do the team sprint with Newell. That guy rocks. Have you seen his films? I'll put him in the right spot and he'll crush that Harvey guy. No way I want to be humiliated by losing to Canadians in their goofy tukes again. That's the absolute worst.". Northug also felt that the Americans can help him reach a new level. "Look, there's just no challenge left for me racing in Norway. The sprint semifinal was like attending a children's race. Heck, I stopped for a pee in the national 50k and still won easily. If I'm racing Freeman he won't let me get away with that. If I fall down and start crying again he'll kick my butt and tell me to get up and quit skiing like a girlyman! Nordic skiing isn’t figure skating. There’s no “kiss and cry cubbie” and you don't see Kris sniffling on his coach’s shoulder when he has a bad day."
When asked if he knew any of the women on the U.S. team, Northug visibly reddened and spoke haltingly, “When I first saw Lindsay Vonn in Sport’s Illustrated I knew someday my future in skiing lay in America. Also, do you know if Jessie Diggins is going out with anyone? Would she, you know, hang out with me? When I saw her at Worlds I almost skied into a tree. What a hottie!”
As for what part of the country he will reside in, Northug seemed unsure.
“Newell said I could ski with the Stratton kids for the summer, and Lars Flora told me that APU glacier skiing is the best, but of course CXC has those great summer camps. Maybe I’ll just go to Vegas and roll the dice.”