Austrian Cross-County Skier Running Second Makes Wrong Turn, Finishes Ninth

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Of all the ways of failing to medal in a grueling 30-kilometer cross-country race, Austrian Olympian Teresa Stadlober certainly discovered the most excruciatingly regrettable: She got lost. She took a wrong friggin’ turn and got lost. Per the Associated Press:

“I don’t know. I really don’t know,” said an embarrassed Stadlober, who ended up in ninth place. “I took the wrong way, and I did this twice. The second time I wasn’t sure anymore. I had a blackout. I don’t know why I took the wrong way.”

It happened after Stadlober had already covered 23 kilometers, while she was running in second place, in line for a silver medal. Stadlober was far enough behind eventual gold medalist Marit Bjoergen of Norway that she apparently couldn’t just follow the leader, and instead of closely following course markers, Stadlober appears to have lost her mind and veered off in her own direction. You can probably imagine, she was crushed:

“I’m really sad and disappointed that it has happened today because I had a really good day,” Stadlober added. “My shape is good. I know in classic I can make a good race, and I also had really good skis. Before I took the wrong way, I thought I could fight for a medal.”

She had her father to pick her up, though. After the race, he greeted her at the finish line with a huge hug.

“I cried,” she said. “He just said, ‘It was not your day today.’ But when you want to win a medal, you have to know the track.”


To be fair, the cross country ski course is quite the tangle. Because of her terrible wrong turn, Stadlober finished in ninth place. Crushing.