What Norway can teach us about high performance

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The real star of the Winter Olympics wasn’t so much a person, but a country: Norway. How did a nation of only 5.2 million people (fewer than the population of metro Atlanta) leave PyeongChang with more medals than any country on the planet?

Several articles have investigated the secrets of Norway’s success. Beyond the obvious explanations — a healthy GDP and abundant snow — are several uniquely Norwegian practices that offer broader lessons on motivation and performance of any kind:

  • The social fabric of the team comes first.
  • Zero tolerance for jerks. 
  • Humility and respect are the highest virtues.
  • Minimal prize money. 
  • In youth sports, athletes don’t keep score until they’re 13.
  • Friday night is taco night.

Selected Articles:

The Ski Team That Sleeps Together Wins A Lot of Gold Medals Together (NY Times)

In Norway, kids aren’t taught to compete with each other until they’re teenagers (World Economic Forum) 

Norway Crushed the Competition at the Winter Olympics. Here is the Tiny Country’s Secret (Time)

The secret behind Norway’s Winter Olympic Success (CNN)



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