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Norwegian Olympic Hero Now on TV

February 6, 1998

NAGANO, Japan (AP) _ Johann Olav Koss still has his Olympic credentials. Only now it says ``commentator″ below his name rather than ``athlete.″

Koss is at the Nagano Games as part of the broadcasting team for Channel 7, an Australian network that beefed up its Olympic coverage as a precursor to Sydney 2000.

``They want to show all the different sports, so they brought in a lot of different experts to introduce these sports to Australia,″ said Koss, a Norwegian who won three gold medals in world-record time at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. ``It will be interesting and very exciting to work in this.″

Since retiring four years ago, ``Koss the Boss″ has worked diligently to raise money for Olympic Aid and is studying for his medical degree. He expects to graduate within two years and perhaps branch into surgery after completing his residency.

He still gets a tinge of excitement when he’s in an Olympic city like Nagano, even though his competitive days are over.

``There’s a lot of electricity in the city and you can feel the atmosphere,″ Koss said. ``I figure this is not really happening. I’m supposed to be an athlete. It’s not normal for me to walk around feeling relaxed during the Olympics. But that’s a nice feeling as well.″

Koss doesn’t seem to have any regrets about giving up speedskating.

``I think most athletes miss is in one way or another,″ he said. ``I miss the feeling of being on a good team. I miss the feeling of being in good shape and to have a goal set before me. But you have periods in your life, and when one is finished you have to go to another. You have to move on. That’s what I’ve done for myself.″

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