Petter Northug Jr. (born 6 January 1986) is a Norwegian cross country skier and double Olympic champion. He has 13 World Championship and 2 Winter Olympic gold medals with 20 medals overall (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the Olympics, 13 gold and 3 silver at the World Ski Championships), and 18 individual FIS Cross-Country World Cup wins with 13 podium places. He is also the record holder for most stage wins (13) in Tour de Ski. By winning his ninth gold medal in the Nordic World Ski Championships in 4 x 10 km relay in Val di Fiemme 2013 he leveled the achievement of Bjørn Dæhlie who had been the most successful World Champion male skier up to this point.
Early life and career
During his first years, Northug was generally considered a star of the future. Whilst he was still a junior Verdens Gang newspaper reported in November 2005 that “the ski manufacturers are fighting to get Northug”. Fischer won his signature, and his contract included a base salary (the first time ever for a junior), which would be multiplied by five if he made the Norwegian elite team for 2006/07, which he did. The contract also offered bonuses if he won medals in the junior World Championships.
Northug has six gold medals from junior World Championships. His first two gold medals came in 2004/05 in the pursuit and the 10 km freestyle in Rovaniemi, then in 2005/06 in Kranj he won gold in the 10 km classic, the pursuit, the sprint, and the relay. He also has two silver medals (one in the sprint, and one in the relay, both in 2004/05). His victories made him the first athlete ever to win five individual gold medals at the FIS Junior Nordic World Ski Championships. During 2005/06 he also took part in the Norwegian National Championships, and won the double pursuit race, beating Frode Estil by 1.9 seconds, and became the first junior to ever win a Norwegian National Championship.
Before he joined the World Cup he competed in a few Continental Cup meetings, but mostly in the Scandinavian Cup. During his Scandinavian Cup career (2004/05 & 2005/06) he had seven podium finishes, he came second once in 2004/05, and in 2005/06 he scored four victories, and two second places.