NEWS: Julian commends Norwegian generosity at the Olympic Games

BURNABY - NDP MP Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) has sent a letter to the Norwegian ambassador to Canada, commending Bjonar Hakensmoen, Director of Norway's cross-country ski team, for his spirit of fair play and generosity in helping Canada win a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

"In this world where self-interest too often rules, it was heart-warming to see a member of the Olympic community put fair play first, even in the midst of an intense competition", said Julian, the new NDP critic for the Vancouver Olympics. "As a Canadian of Norwegian descent, I am doubly proud of Bjonar Hakensmoen's generous act."

Canadian skier Sara Renner broke a pole yesterday during the women's team sprint. When Mr. Hakensmoen rushed from the sidelines to hand her a new pole, he threw Renner and race partner Becky Scott a lifeline to the silver medal. The Norwegian team finished fourth, just out of the medals.

"The grand gesture of the Norwegians won the hearts of so many Canadians," said Julian. "I hope this same spirit will be felt when the Winter Olympic community gathers again in Vancouver in 2010. It is only through fair play and generosity of spirit that we will broaden peace and understanding."