Even though Norway topped the medal table at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, it was another prosperous evening for Norwegian athletics at the Idrettsgala, the annual Norwegian Sports Gala, in Stavanger on Saturday (5).
European 1500m and 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who was born and still lives in nearby Sandnes, fittingly won two awards on the night. He won the Breakthrough of the Year award and also became the youngest ever recipient of the much vaunted Athletes’ Prize - an award which is based solely on the votes cast by fellow athletes across all sports.
“I want to thank my brothers for taking me to the training camp and paving the way. I hope they don't regret it today,” Jakob joked in his acceptance speech.
Jakob’s coach and father Gjert was named Coach of the Year while European 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm was named Role Model of the Year. The prize is awarded to an athlete who has represented their sport with distinction either through an act of sportsmanship on the field of play or by setting an excellent example to younger athletes.
“I don't know where to start, today I had actually expected to go home empty-handed. I am very surprised that I get such a prize,” said Warholm.
Winter Olympic champions Aksel Lund Svindal and Marit Bjoergen were crowned male and female Norwegian Athletes of the Year.