Grandpa died shortly before: Biathlon star bursts into tears at the award ceremony

Grandpa died shortly before
Biathlon star bursts into tears at the award ceremony

The Norwegian Vetle Christiansen has just won bronze at the Biathlon World Championships. But at the award ceremony his sadness prevails. Because his grandfather no longer sees the competition. His teammate, superstar Johannes Thingnes Bö, provides consolation.

Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen was overcome with emotion on the winner’s podium. The biathlete cried uncontrollably at the sound of the Norwegian anthem after taking bronze on Sunday in the pursuit race in Nove Mesto. Winner Johannes Thingnes Bö comfortingly patted his teammate on the shoulder. The reason: Christiansen’s grandfather died on Friday at the age of 97. “It was a rollercoaster of emotions this weekend. He was old, but it’s very, very sad,” said Christiansen.

Christiansen had already experienced something like this last year at the World Championships in Oberhof. His grandmother died at the age of 93. He didn’t get to say goodbye there either. “That’s why it was a little difficult to mobilize the strength for this weekend,” said the 31-year-old, who nevertheless came third in both the sprint and the pursuit: “Two bronze medals are more than I expected.”

Last Wednesday, his grandfather Anton saw the mixed relay and wondered why his grandson wasn’t included. “My parents told him that he had to hold on until the weekend, then I would start. But he couldn’t make it anymore,” Christiansen told the Norwegian broadcaster NRK in a tear-choked voice.

His grandfather supported him from heaven and he thought of him very often. “There were also a lot of positive emotions at the weekend,” said Christiansen. His teammate Bö was impressed by how Christiansen remained focused despite the sad news and gave him a few words of comfort: “I guess his grandparents are sitting up in heaven, enjoying biathlon and drinking a cup of coffee while cheering on their grandson,” he said 18-time world champion.

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