Scandinavian Welfare model
Source: Scandinavian Network for Elite Sport is a trilateral network between Section of Sport Science, Aarhus University, Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg and Norwegian School of Sport Science. The aim of the network is to develop collaboration, knowledge exchange and research in the area of elite sport within Scandinavia.
Norway, Sweden and Denmark are interrelated in many ways both historically, culturally, linguistically, politically and religiously. Especially after World War II the three nations have developed a political and economic system - the Scandinavian welfare model - with a number of common characteristics (6). The basic principles underpinning this model is that all citizens in society have equal access to social services such as child benefits, social assistance and pension regardless of their social background, and those services are not linked to insurance contributions or other forms of user fees. Citizens are thus financially secure in case of sickness, unemployment and old age. There are also a number of highly expanded public services in the form of day care, free education (schools, colleges and universities), free healthcare (medical care and surgery) and social benefits (social security, unemployment benefits and retirement).
The Scandinavian welfare model is also characterized by high economic prosperity and growth is combined with a relatively equal income distribution (7). An important instrument in this context is taxes and charges, because the model is primarily funded by tax collection. The redistribution of economic resources is based on a progressive taxation. The dependence on tax revenues means that the model's sustainability is depend on the nations ability to maintain a high level of employment for both sexes. The three nations have developed different variations of the model but the fundamentals are largely the same. The differences between the versions of the Scandinavian model is particularly dependent on the political alliances of the various political parties have signed in. The development of the Scandinavian welfare model is often associated with strong social democratic labor movement as a driving force, but it is also significant that there has been a high degree of consensus on key reforms among most of the political parties. The fundamental values of the Scandinavian welfare model are community, solidarity and equality. In order to promote these values the government (state, regions and municipalities) uses substantial financial resources to facilitate citizens' cultural and leisure activities (9). All three nations have, among other things, paved the way diverse and well- functioning club structures in a variety of sports, where a large number of coaches and managers - volunteer or paid - undertake a number of tasks for the benefit of children and youth in the community. Clubs are the basis for the talent development and elite sport in each sports (10). Moreover, it is characteristic of the Scandinavian nations that individual and team sports are organized in a federal structure. Broadly speaking all sports are members of overaching national sports federations: Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF), Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) and National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) (11). Sports associations must be members of the national sports federations or the National Olympic Committee to participate in international tournaments and championships.
In the early 1980s took various governments in Denmark's initiative to produce "the Elite Sport Act" that would develop elite sport in Denmark to a social and socially responsible manner. The intention was to establish a "public, private institution" that would improve Danish athletes’ and teams sporting achievements in international championships, while the athletes’ social, educational and economic conditions were not downsized because of the athletes' increasing training and competition extent. The Elite Sport Act was passed by the Danish Parliament in December 1985. Based on this act the Danish elite sport institution, Team Denmark, was established .
In the same period there was a similar sports political debate evolving in Norway that focused on elite athletes' limits and conditions on and off the sports arena. This debate intensified when Norway was nominated by the IOC to host the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer 1994.
The result was the establishment of Olympiatoppen (OLT) - a division of Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic and Sports Confederation (NIF) with independent political and administrative management .
In Sweden there has especially in the last decade been several sports policy discussions on advantages and disadvantages of setting up an autonomous and independent institution for Swedish elite sport - like Team Denmark and Olympiatoppen. However, in Sweden there are still not established an organization responsible for elite sport. Instead the structure with three key actors fulfilling different roles and different responsibilities in relation to the operation and development of Swedish elite sport are upheld. These three actors are: The Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK), Swedish Sports Confederation (RF) and the sports federations such as Swedish Football Association (SvFF), Swedish Swimming Federation (SSF) and Swedish Ice Hockey Association (SIHA) .
Norway - Sport results
As previously stated, Norway is among the world's best winter sports nations. This is manifest in the nation's ranking points in the past four years. Of the total number of ranking points (1.526) 1.388 (91%) was obtained in the winter sports and only 138 (9%) in summer sports. Norwegian athletes and teams have in the past four years achieved 128 ranking points (9%) from 1.398 (2009-2012) for a total of 1.526 ranking points (2013-2016). The improvement, however, is exclusively taken place in winter sports (1.388 ranking points in 2013-2016 vs. 1.152 ranking points in 2009-2012), while there is a noticeable decline of 44% in summer sports (138 ranking points in 2013 -2016 vs. 246 ranking points in 2009- 2012). Based on these results prior to the Olympics, it was no surprise that Sochi 2014 was one of Norway's historically best with 26 medals. Rio 2016, however, was one of Norway historical worst Olympic Games results with "only" four bronze medals and a ranking as modest number 74 of the nation competition.
Norway won a total of 26 Olympic medals (11 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals) in 6 different sports: Cross-country skiing (11), Ski jumping (6), Nordic combined (4), Alpine skiing (3), snowboard (1) and ski (1). The result meant that Norway was no. 2 in the nation competition - second only to the host nation Russia with 33 Olympic medals. The 26 Olympic medals, three more than Vancouver 2010 and one of the highest ever - equal to the number of Olympic medals in Lillehammer 1994. The largest Norwegian OG-profiles in Sochi was Marit Bjørgen (cross-country skiing) with 3 gold medals and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (biathlon) with 2 golds medals.
Norway is - both past and present - by far the best winter sports nation in Scandinavia. Both at the Olympics, World Championships and World Cups, there are many and proud traditions of Norwegian athletes and teams at the winners’ podium, and it is not unrealistic that Norway is the best sport nation at next year's Winter Olympics - despite the nation's tiny population of just over 5 million. Norway's competitors for the top position as the world's best winter sport nation include Russia with 142 million citizens, Canada with 36 million citizens and the US with 325 million citizens. Norway has also historically achieved good results at the Summer Olympics, but especially the recent Rio 2016 was a significant disappointment for Norway with "only" four bronze medals and a very limited number of top 8 rankings. There is definitely potential for improvement for Norway at Tokyo 2020. Norway is - both past and present - by far the best winter sports nation in Scandinavia. Both at the Olympics, World Championships and World Cups, there are many and proud traditions of Norwegian athletes and teams at the winners’ podium, and it is not unrealistic that Norway is the best sport nation at next year's Winter Olympics - despite the nation's tiny population of just over 5 million. Norway's competitors for the top position as the world's best winter sport nation include Russia with 142 million citizens, Canada with 36 million citizens and the US with 325 million citizens. Norway has also historically achieved good results at the Summer Olympics, but especially the recent Rio 2016 was a significant disappointment for Norway with "only" four bronze medals and a very limited number of top 8 rankings. There is definitely potential for improvement for Norway at Tokyo 2020
Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederations of Sports (NIF - idrettsforbundet.no)
The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) is an umbrella organisation which organises all national sports federations(1) in Norway. NIF has app. 2.100.000 memberships(2) and consists of 54 national federations, 19 regional confederations(3), app. 366 sports councils(4) and 12.178 clubs. The General Assembly of NIF is the supreme governing body of organised sport, and is held every fourth year.
-The federations organise and manage individual sports
-The amount of memberships must not be confused with the number of members. A person may be registered as a member in several sports.
-The regional confederations serve as collective bodies for sports within each of Norway's 19 counties.
-The sport councils form part of NIF’s organisational structure, and consist of all sports clubs in the municipalities which are members of NIF.
Tel: +47 21 02 90 00
Fax: + 47 21 02 90 01
E-mail: [email protected]
Sognsveien 73, 0854 Oslo
Postal address: Norges idrettsforbund og olympiske og paralympiske komité
0840 Oslo, Norway
Olimpiatoppen - Norwegian Olympic Top Sport Program
Source : KRISTIANSEN, E. and HOULIHAN, B., 2017. Developing young athletes: the role of private sport schools in the Norwegian sport system. In- ternational Review of the Sociology of Sport, 52(4), pp.447-469.
Olympiatoppen has overall responsibility for the development of elite athletes and is generally considered to be a successful development agency since its establishment in 1989 (Andersen, 2009; Augestad et al., 2006; Goksøyr and Hanstad, 2012).
Olympiatoppen grants scholarships to talented performers, provides medical support to all national teams, and operates a well-equipped national training centre. However, Olympiatoppen has neither the capacity nor the money to focus on the younger athletes. The primary criterion for the allocation of Olympiatoppen resources is ranking not age and Olympiatoppen has no specific programs aimed at young people. This situation has created a problem – a gap in the talent identification and development process which has, to an extent at least, been filled by the network of sports schools mainly for the 16-19 years olds although a few schools are now being established for 13-16 year olds.
 Augestad, P. & Bergsgard, N.A. (2007): Toppidrettens formel: Olympiatoppen som alkymist (Oslo: Novus Forlag), Goksøyr, M & Hanstad, D.V: (2012): “Elite sport developmen in Norway – a radical transformation”, pp. 27-42 og Andersen, S.S. (2012): “Olympiatoppen in the Norwegian sports cluster” pp. 237-256 I: Andersen, S.S. & Ronglan, L.T. (eds.): Nordic Elite Sport. Same ambitions – different tracks (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget).