Which Sports Are the Most Popular in Norway?

Marked as one of the best countries to live in the world by UN due to its living standards, life-style and education, and a moderate population of 5,3 million, Norway has always been in news for all good reasons. People here are very fun loving and enjoying sports is a part of their life. Some of the most popular sports of Norway include football, cross country, biathlon, ski-jumping, ice hockey, harness racing, and similar sports. Winter sports and cross country are the mostly enjoyed activities followed by football in Norway. 

Due to high pay rate and other social benefits, Norwegians do have a lot of spare cash in hand most of the times. This is the reason why apart from watching sports, it’s pretty common in Norway to bet on sports. There is plenty of so called in Norway “betting sider” where people can bet online.

Jan 19, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas (7) takes to the ice to warm up prior to the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Popular sports in Norway

A famous Norwegian proverb reads, ‘Norwegians are born with skis on their feet.’ It is said so because Norway is a nation known for winter sports, especially, skiing and cross-country. It is known for its rich culture and unmatched sporting activities. 

Almost every Norwegian can be seen cheering their cross-country team in the World-Cup. One of such famous races known as the 5-mila race is organized at Oslo every winter which invites a number cross country stars from national as well international fraternities. Those who are not participating are sure to get glued to the television during the event.

Biathlon is one of the most followed sports of Norway and the team’s success in recent major events has raised the craze to a different level. The women’s team needs a special mention as it is more successful than the men’s team. Especially after the team managed a podium finish for the first time in 19 years in women’s biathlon World Cup.

Sportspersons enjoy the highest of regard among civilians in this part of the world. Be it any sport, players are treated with utmost respect and honor. For example, Erling HaalandST is a household name when it comes to football in Norway. The respect and the following he commands is in Norway unprecedented. 

Football undoubtedly is the leader when it comes to popularity in Norway. It is almost impossible to find a Norwegian who has not played football in his/her life time, such is the craze. The Norwegian national football team is not very high-ranked when compared with other teams of the world. Yet, the support that these people extend to their team during any of the matches is just amazing. 

Other than football, adventurous sports such as bike racing, rafting, kiteboarding, etc. are some the other popular sports enjoyed hugely in this part of the world. Recently triathlon has become the hot favourite, especially for Norwegians living close to Hardangervidda. It is a combination of swimming, a full marathon and finally a hill race. 

Founded in 1917, the National Hockey League is another big craze in Norway. The total number of nationalities that represent NHL as of now is 16. Undoubtedly, the league is flooded with some of the best Nordic players as well as world’s best in hockey. 

Betting is done on live matches too. People can place their bet on these matches online through a betting sites of their choice.  

A glimpse and updates on the latest sporting activities including different types of skiing are telecasted frequently on various channels for maximum publicity and participation. 

Dec 8, 2019; Avon, CO, USA; Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway during the second run in the men’s giant slalom race during the Birds of Prey FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup at Beaver Creek. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Other activities the Norwegians really enjoy

Outdoor and winter sports are not the only thing Norwegians are fond. Their personality is multi-dimensional and multi-cultural. Therefore, they leave no stone unturned when it comes to enjoyment and entertainment. 

A recent study depicted that apart from watching football and other sporting activities, nearly 30% of Norwegians are also engaged in betting activities. 

Undoubtedly, betting has slowly become one of the better ways of entertainment for many of the Norwegians. Enjoying outdoor sports is very different from betting as the latter involves a bit of risk element. Enjoying or playing outdoor sports on the other hand are good for physical as well as mental health. Whereas betting and gambling are considered to be fine if played for entertainment purposes only.