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Have you ever wondered what fuels Norway’s passion?

It’s not just in their stunning fjords or rich history!

Skiing dominates the sports scene in Norway, but there’s more to explore.

Discover the 11 most popular sports in Norway in our list and get ready to be inspired.

Most Popular Sports in Norway:

  1. Skiing
  2. Biathlon
  3. Handball
  4. Alpine Skiing
  5. Ice Hockey
  6. Athletics
  7. Cycling
  8. Rowing
  9. Sailing
  10. Swimming
  11. Soccer

#1 Skiing

Alpine Skiing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Norway: 1800s
  • 🌟Most Famous Skier from Norway: Ole Einar BjΓΈrndalen (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Skiing Enthusiasts in Norway: 2 Million

Skiing holds a special place in Norway’s heart, as it’s not just a sport but also an integral part of the country’s culture. With its snowy landscapes and mountainous terrain, Norway offers perfect skiing conditions.

The FIS World Cup, which includes various skiing disciplines, is a major event, drawing sizable attention from Norwegians. Ole Einar BjΓΈrndalen, a record-breaking biathlete, has put the country on the global skiing map with his numerous Olympic and World Championship medals.

Norwegians are proud of their skiing heritage, which dates back centuries, and their continued dominance in the sport solidifies skiing’s importance in the country.

#2 Biathlon

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: 1960s
  • 🌟Most Famous Biathlete from Norway: Tora Berger (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Biathlon Enthusiasts in Norway: 1 Million

Biathlon, an exhilarating combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, has captured Norway’s fascination. Norwegians admire the sport’s blend of physical endurance and precision.

The IBU World Cup Biathlon is a significant event, with Norwegian athletes frequently dominating the podium. Tora Berger, an Olympic and World Championship medalist, showcases the country’s prowess in biathlon.

As the sport continues to grow, Norway remains a powerhouse, producing world-class athletes and fostering a love for biathlon among its people.

#3 Handball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: 1930s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Norway: Heidi LΓΈke (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Norway: 100,000

Handball is a popular sport in Norway, with its fast gameplay and strategic nuances captivating audiences.

The Norwegian Handball Federation oversees domestic leagues, and the national teams often shine in European and World Championships. Heidi LΓΈke, the highly celebrated female handball player, has led Norway to numerous victories.

The sport’s prominence in the country is evident, and Norway’s consistent performance on the global stage ensures that handball remains a beloved sport among Norwegians.

#4 Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Norway: 1930s
  • 🌟Most Famous Alpine Skier from Norway: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Alpine Skiing Enthusiasts in Norway: 1.5 Million

Alpine skiing is another prevalent winter sport in Norway, taking advantage of the nation’s mountainous terrain and ample snowfall.

Norwegian alpine skiers regularly compete in international events, such as the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and Winter Olympics. Aksel Lund Svindal, a decorated Olympian and World Champion, has helped cement Norway’s status as an alpine skiing powerhouse.

The sport’s ever-rising popularity in Norway is testament to the country’s love for winter sports and showcases Norway’s prominent position in the global alpine skiing community.

#5 Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: 1930s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Norway: Mats Zuccarello (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Norway: 25,000

Ice hockey enjoys a strong following in Norway as a fast and action-packed sport. Norway’s cold climate and abundance of ice rinks provide an ideal environment for the sport’s growth.

The GET-ligaen serves as Norway’s premier ice hockey league, where teams compete fiercely for the championship title. Norwegian Mats Zuccarello, who has made a name for himself in the NHL, is a highly celebrated player within the country.

Norway’s national team consistently competes in international tournaments, further solidifying ice hockey’s presence in the nation’s sports scene.

#6 Athletics

Long Distance Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Athlete from Norway: Ingrid Kristiansen (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Norway: 300,000

Athletics has deep roots in Norway’s sports culture, with its various disciplines appealing to a wide range of participants and audiences. The country has produced an impressive array of champions and record holders over the years.

Ingrid Kristiansen, a world-renowned long-distance runner, holds numerous records and titles, showcasing the prowess of Norwegian athletes in various competitions. The annual Bislett Games, held in Oslo, is a prestigious event in the Diamond League, attracting athletes from around the world.

With events covering various skill levels and age groups, athletics remains a cornerstone of Norway’s sports community.

#7 Cycling

Track Cycling
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Late 1800s
  • 🌟Most Famous Cyclist from Norway: Thor Hushovd (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Norway: 500,000

Cycling is beloved in Norway both as a sport and as a leisure activity. The country’s diverse landscapes and cycling-friendly infrastructure cater to amateur and professional cyclists alike.

Norwegian cycling star, Thor Hushovd, has achieved multiple victories in the Tour de France, elevating the country’s reputation in the sport. The Arctic Race of Norway and the Tour des Fjords are popular local racing events attended by enthusiasts.

Cycling’s prominence in Norway is encouraging for future generations, as the sport continues to gain traction and inspire upcoming talent.

#8 Rowing

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Early 1900s
  • Most Famous Rower from Norway: Olaf Tufte (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Rowing Enthusiasts in Norway: 100,000

Rowing holds a special place in Norway’s sports culture, thanks to its long coastlines and abundant waterways. The sport promotes a strong connection to nature while demanding physical strength and teamwork.

Olaf Tufte, Norwegian rowing legend and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has inspired a whole generation to take up the sport. The Norwegian Rowing Championships is a key event on the national rowing calendar, showcasing the nation’s top talent.

With a growing number of clubs and local competitions, rowing’s popularity in Norway shows no signs of waning, as the sport attracts new enthusiasts and nurtures promising future athletes.

#9 Sailing

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Early 1900s
  • 🌟Most Famous Sailor from Norway: Thor Aakvik (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Sailing Enthusiasts in Norway: 150,000

Sailing in Norway is a celebrated sport, owing to the country’s extensive coastline and abundant fjords. The sport offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature while experiencing the thrill of navigating through intricate waterways.

The Seilasen, a popular Norwegian sailing event, captures the hearts of sailing enthusiasts across the country. Thor Aakvik, a legendary sailor who has represented Norway in multiple international competitions, is widely admired for his skills and achievements.

Sailing clubs and associations throughout Norway invite new and experienced sailors to engage in this exciting sport, further strengthening sailing’s position in the nation’s sports culture.

#10 Swimming

Open water swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Late 1800s
  • 🌟Most Famous Swimmer from Norway: Alexander Dale Oen (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimming Enthusiasts in Norway: 500,000

Swimming is a popular sport in Norway, appreciated for its health benefits, competitive spirit, and accessibility for people of all ages.

The Norwegian Swimming Federation organizes various events and championships, fostering a sense of camaraderie among participants. Alexander Dale Oen, a world champion and national hero, has inspired many with his resilience and dedication to the sport.

Recent investments in swimming facilities and coaching programs ensure that swimming continues to grow in popularity and produce talented athletes to represent Norway on the global swimming stage.

#11 Soccer

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Norway: Late 1800s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Norway: Ole Gunnar SolskjΓ¦r (Norwegian)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Soccer Players in Norway: 250,000

Soccer may not be the most popular sport in Norway, but it enjoys a loyal following among both participants and spectators. The sport provides a platform for fostering teamwork, skill development, and a sense of community.

The Eliteserien, Norway’s top-tier soccer league, attracts thousands of fans to matches, with clubs competing for the championship title. Ole Gunnar SolskjΓ¦r, a Norwegian soccer icon and current manager of Manchester United, has left a lasting impact on the nation’s soccer scene.

While soccer may not dominate Norwegian sports culture like skiing, its popularity continues to grow, capturing the hearts of many local supporters.


What is the most popular sport in Norway?

Skiing, particularly cross-country skiing, reigns supreme in Norway as the most popular sport, deeply ingrained in the country’s culture, heritage, and enjoyed by a vast majority of the population.

What is the national sport of Norway?

The national sport of Norway is skiing, especially cross-country skiing, due to Norway’s winter climate, stunning landscapes, and centuries-old skiing traditions cherished by the nation.

What are the most watched sports in Norway?

The most watched sports in Norway include skiing, biathlon, handball, alpine skiing, ice hockey, athletics, cycling, rowing, sailing, swimming, and soccer, each attracting significant attention and market share among sports enthusiasts.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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