Top 15 Famous Norwegian Athletes (That Are Still Around)

Norway is home to many skilled and famous athletes, and we got more than just different types of skiers here. Despite the fact that Norway is such a small country with a low population, Norwegian athletes bring in plenty of gold medals from world championships and the Olympics every year.

We will be take a closer look at 15 of the most famous Norwegian athletes in this article, including athletes from most popular sposts. The list is based on popularity on Google Trends, both right now and historically. So let’s get to it!

1) Erling Braut Haaland

Everyone who follows football will known who Erling Braut Haaland is. His career really took of after he played for Borussia Dortmund, and quickly become known as one of the most effective strikers in all of Bundesliga. His young age makes him one of the most promising strikers in the world.

It seems likely that Erling Braut Haaland will be bought by a new team in the summer of 2022, and he is expected to be the main star of one of the biggest football teams in Europe.

Haaland is a key player on both his home team and the Norwegian national team, and could very well be one of the best football player in the entire world in a few years from now.

Erling Braut Haaland is probably the most popular of all famous Norwegian athletes.
Erling Braut Haaland. when he played for RB Salzburg. Photo by Werner100359 / CC BY-SA 4.0.

2) Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been one of the most popular football players in Norway for a long time, and was considered a national hero when he played striker for Manchester United during the late 90s and most of the 00s.

He is probably most well-known for scoring the goal that made Manchester United win Champion’s League in 1999. The goal was on overtime, and made sure the team won the entire league and get the trophy (which is the best trophy you can win in football).

After retiring from his football career, Ole Gunnar Solskjær moved on to become a football manager. He started his new career as manager for Molde FK, but ended up becoming the manager of Manchester United for a few years.

He did eventually get fired from Manchester United, but is still loved by fans of the team, and is considered one of the most famous and most influential Norwegian athletes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Ole Gunnar Solskjær (in front) as manager for Manchester United. Photo by Ardfern / CC BY-SA 4.0.

3) Karsten Warholm

Karsten Warholm is a hurdling athlete. It’s not the most popular of sports, but Karsten Warholm has quickly made a name for himself for anyone that follows athletics. Karsten Warholm is also a household name in Norway, and is well-liked by most Norwegians.

He has won several 400m hurdle gold medals, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, several World Athletics Championships and Diamond League. One of his biggest feats is beating the 29 year old Olympic world record during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and he is considered the very best active hurdler in the world.

He currently has the world record for both the fastest 400 meter and the 300 meter hurdle race.

Karsten Warholm
Karsten Warholm. Photo by Filip Bossuyt / CC BY 2.0.

4) Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster, and he is considered one of the best chess players of all time by many. He is currently ranked as the #1 chess player in the world, and has won the World Championship a total of 13 times by the age of 31.

If that’s not enough, he has the highest FIDE-chess rating of all time with 2882. He started making a name for himself at the age of 13, and he likely has a very long career in front of him. Many people believe that he will keep his reign as the king of chess for a long time, and could potentially become the person who keeps his #1 rating for a long time (which is currently Garry Kasparov).

Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen. Photo by: Lennart Ootes / CC BY-SA 4.0.

5) Martin Ødegaard

Martin Ødegaard is a popular football player that is currently playing for Arsenal FC. He became super well-known in Norway as a young child when he played in the highest football division and on the national team as a 15 year old before being bought by Real Madric FC at such a young age.

Ødegaard never really got a good career in Real Madrid, but he became an important player for Arsenal and the Norwegian national team. He is without a doubt considered one of the best Norwegian football players, and is currently the captain of the national team.

Martin Ødegaard
Martin Ødegaard. Photo by Ehaddeland / CC BY-SA 3.0.

6) Jakob Ingebrigtsen

Jakob Ingebrigtsen is a Norwegian athlete who has specialized in running 3000m, 1500m and 1500m. He is by many considered to be one of the best athletes for middle- and long distance track racing, and holds the Olympic and European record for the fastest 1500 meter run.

He also holds the world record for indoor 1500m, and plenty of other European records for different distances.

His two older brothers (Henrik and Filip) are also well-renowned runners, but they haven’t achieved the same level of fame or skills as Jacob has. In addition to being known for their running, the brothers and their trainer/father have their own reality TV series, and is one of the most recognized athlete families in Norway.

Jakob and Henrik Ingebrigtsen
Jakob Ingebrigtsen (left) and his older brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen (right). Photo by Filip Bossuyt / CC BY 2.0.

7) Casper Ruud

Tennis has never been a popular sport in Norway, but Casper Ruud’s success as a tennis player has opened Norway’s eyes for the sport. Casper Ruud was ranked as one of the top 10 tennis players in the world in 2021, and he’s still young with a long career in front of him.

If you’re interested in tennis, then you have likely heard of Casper Ruud in the last few years. He has won several ATP titles, and it still getting better by the day. He could very well become of the best Norwegian athletes if he keeps up this improvement.

Casper Ruud
Casper Ruud. Photo published with permission.

8) Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland is the most famous golfer from Norway, a sport that is traditionally not very popuar in Norway. However, most Norwegians have gotten a bit more interested in golfing after Hovland has been competing to be in the top tours in the world.

As of 2022, Viktor Hovland is ranked as the third best active golfer, so he’s right at the top with the best in the world.

Hovland was born in 1997, so he’s still young and got a long career in front of him. He’s already well-known to anyone that watches or follow golfing, but he’s also one of the most popular athletes in Norway.

Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland. Photo by LostVoyage / CC BY-SA 4.0.

9) Ole Einar Bjørndalen

Ole Einar Bjørndalen is one of the most successful biathlon in the world, and one of the most Olympic winning athlete in the world. He has won a total of 8 Olympic gold medals, as well as a handful of silver and bronze medals.

For those who are a bit unfamiliar with the sport biathlon, it’s a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. The sport is not that popular in most places, but it holds high esteem in Nordic countries.

He might not be a household name in the entire world, but the sheer amount of Olympic gold medals makes him one of the best Norwegian athletes of our time.

Ole Einar Bjørndalen has been kind of a controversial figure after he decided to become the national trainer for China’s biathlon team.

Ole Einar Bjørndalen
Ole Einar Bjørndalen. Photo by Christian Bier / CC BY-SA 3.0.

10) Bjørn Dæhlie

Bjørn Dæhlie is a cross-country skiier that won a total of 8 Olympic Gold medals, 9 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and many other medals and awards during his 10 year long career.

Bjørn Dæhlie become a very popular figure in Norway, and has since moved on to produce clothing, so you can now buy Dæhlie branded clothing in sport outlets in Norway.

Despite being very popular, Bjørn Dæhlie also became a controversial figure after being outed for doing his best to prevent paying his taxes, which is not very popular in Norway.

Bjørn Dæhlie
Bjørn Dæhlie. Photo by mynewsdeck / / CC BY-SA 3.0.

11) Thor Hushovd

Thor Hushovd is the highest ranked Norwegian cyclist of all time, and was part of what made cycling a popular sport in Norway. He participated in Tour de France for the first time in 2001, and won 10 stages as well as winning the green jersey for two years (2005 and 2009).

In addition to his feats at Tour de France, he won the UCI Road World Championships in 2010, allowing him to ride with the rainbow jersey for that season.

Thor Hushovd
Thor Hushovd. Photo by Kriztobal / CC BY-SA 3.0.

12) Olaf Tufte

Olaf Tufte is the winner of two Olympic Gold medals, and is considered one of the worlds best single rowers. He started his rowing career at the age of 17, but quickly become extremely good at it, and participated in his first international championship after only a single year of rowing.

After retiring from rowing, Tufte moved on to participate in Norwegian reality TV series like 71′ Nord, and is a household name in Norway. He is probably not that well-known internationally to people who don’t pay attention to rowing though.

Olaf Tufte
Olaf Tufte. Photo published with permission.

13) Kjetil Andre Aamodt

Kjetil Andre Aamodt is an alpine skier with a record of number of Olympic medals, owning a total of 8 gold medals from alpine skiing. He begun his career in the early 90s, and participated for a long time. His last Olympic gold medal was in 2006, after which he retired and changed career to hosting a television series.

Aamodt used to be very popular in Norway, and he still holds a lot of popularity even 15 years after he retired from skiing.

Kjetil Andre Aamodt
Kjetil Andre Aamodt. Photo by Kjetil Ree / CC BY-SA 3.0.

14) Marit Bjørgen

Marit Bjørgen is a cross-country skier that is considered the greatest female Olympian of all time. She has won 8 Olympic gold medals, 18 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships gold medals and plenty of other medals and awards.

This makes her ranking very high, and this makes her the best female cross-country skier of all times. She recently retired after an 18 year long career.

Marit Bjørgen
Marit Bjørgen. Photo by Tadeusz Mieczyński / CC BY-SA 3.0.

15) Alexander Kristoff

Alexandre Kristoff is another Norwegian cyclist that has won several Tour de France stages. In total he have won 4 single stage wins, and even rode in the yellow jersey during the 2nd stage of Tour de France 2020.

Alexander Kristoff (middle), Kristoffer Halvorsen (left) and Edwald Boasson Hagen (right). Photo by Øyvind Berg / CC BY-SA 4.0.

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