1992 Winter Olympics: The Viking's Conquest

Cross-country superstar Vegard Ulvang of Norway finds glory on the ski trail and fulfillment off the beaten track

At the end of last June, when most other Olympic hopefuls were lashed into rigid training programs, Norwegian cross-country skier Vegard ("the Viking") Ulvang was hunkered down somewhere in central Greenland, pondering the vexing little problem of survival. He and his best friend, Frenchman Pierre Gay- % Peret, had set out seven days before to ski 355 miles across the world's largest island. Though the speediest previous crossing by their chosen route had been 25 days, they had brought enough food for just 20. "We wanted to go fast," explains Ulvang. But their pace during the first week had been crabbed...

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