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Stories: Snow Angels in Trondheim

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Snow Angels in Trondheim 12 Mar 2010
The bath house story also brings to mind a time in January 1963 when we made contact with some young Norwegian students at the Trondheim University of Science and Technology. A couple of them played on the university basketball team. In those days, European basketball was not nearly so advanced as it is today. We started talking a little smack (though that term hadn't been invented yet) and the upshot was that we challenged the university team to a game with the missionaries. We had visions of this being a good missionary tool and went down to the Bergens Tidende office to try to get some newspaper coverage. Our hopes for a large crowd didn't pan out, but we had a great time. I thought we would win easily, but it turned out to be a very close game -- I think our winning margin was two points. I was cold (literally and figuratively) and missed a lot of shots I would normally make. I remember the Norwegians were in much better physical condition than we were. They hardly ever dribbled -- it was pass, pass, pass and shoot. Actually not a bad way to play basketball. One of our Norwegian friends was named Gunnar -- which I always thought was a great basketball name. My companion and I went up to the university and practiced with the team several times after that. They were good guys, and I think they liked and respected us, but no baptisms came of it to my knowledge. There was a sauna at the university that we used after the games. I remember one time when we had become super heated the players all got up and shouted, "follow us!" We did and about eight of us ran, fully naked, out into the dark night. It was late and nobody was around (fortunately). The Norwegians all flopped down in the freshly fallen snow and started making snow angels, so we followed suit. It was a shock to the system but we couldn't let the Norwegians think we were American wimps!
Morris Ashcroft Thurston Send Email
 
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