Another clip was shown, this time of Dæhlie. He was singing on a bandstand somewhere. The song was My Way. He was awful. Everybody laughed.
"And before you go, Bjørn, we have some gifts for you," Flatland said in his famous voice.
One gift was a cake. Flatland said he had baked it personally. Another gift was a cookbook and an accompanying chef's hat, because Dæhlie, a hunter, likes to cook and eat what he kills. A final gift was a print of the painting The Scream, by Norwegian master Edvard Munch. The work was in the news because it had recently been stolen from the National Art Museum in Oslo. Dæhlie held the print in the air and wondered aloud if it was worth more than his gold medal.
Everything was small-time, small-town and wonderful. Normal. Norwegian. If that other story, the women's figure skating story, was dominating the attention of the world, this was the story that was replayed again and again here. Local boy makes good.
"Bjørn Dæhlie!" Flatland shouted to the studio audience and all of Norway.
The hero waved and walked away with his gifts. Two days later at Birkebeineren he won a second gold medal, in the pursuit (which combines the 10-kilometer with a 15-kilometer race), to tie the record for gold medals won by a male athlete at the Winter Olympics. With another gold in either the team relay, which was scheduled to be held on Tuesday, or the 50-kilometer on Sunday, he would break the record.
All was very much right in this frozen, excited neighborhood.