OSLO, Norway (AP) — Two-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Petter Northug admitted to drunk driving Sunday after he crashed his car into a road barrier in his native Norway in the early hours of the morning.
The 28-year-old Northug said in a statement released to Norwegian media that he deeply regrets driving his car under the influence of alcohol, but is grateful that his poor judgment didn’t cause more harm.
Police in Norway earlier Sunday said they were questioning two men for suspected drunk driving after Northug’s car had crashed into a road barrier in the western Norwegian city Trondheim.
Police spokesman Baard Jacobsen told broadcaster TV2 that the car had likely exceeded the speed limit when it veered off the road in a curve. He said one man was found with minor injuries next to the car and another man had left the site but was later found in his home.
“I am very unhappy now and very disappointed with what I’ve done,” Northug said. “I have openly told police about what happened and I am prepared to take the punishment for my actions.”
Northug won two golds, a silver and a bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and had high hopes of matching that tally in Sochi. Instead, he left Russia with no medals at all and as the biggest disappointment of the cross-country events. The Norwegian had struggled with an illness this season that disrupted his preparations.
“I know that I am a role model for many young people and I fully acknowledge that I have not acted like a role model should. I want to apologize to all of those and to all of those who are now disappointed with me,” Northug said.