I heard a story that the best Norwegian skiers are from Oslo environs who take the effort to go up to the mountains to train. The locals have hills in abundance so they do other things. True?
In judo I see that the sponsored judokas come from the suburbs there days. In my day they came from the inner city and had to do everything themselves, like our former trainer Wim Ruska who won 2 gold medals at the Munich olympics without any support.
Conor McGregor is a good latter-day example.
In the old days of (real) amateur skiers there was a tendency for the best Norwegians to come from farming communities, perhaps driven by year round hard work outdoors and an actual need for regularly traveling long distances on foot or skis. In the modern era, say the last 40-50 years, it’s been a lot more about access to resources; money as well as large numbers of dedicated volunteers. Not surprisingly, resources are more abundant around Oslo than elsewhere in the country, but you have seen pockets of excellence evolve pretty much all over the place. Of the current stars Krüger, Sundby, and Holund are from Oslo; Bjørgen and Klæbu are from the Trondheim area; Østberg, Haga, and Johaug are from more rural parts of Østlandet; and Krogh is from way the heck up north where the sun is entirely absent for a couple of months each year. Notably absent are skiers from the south and west coasts, which can be reasonably ascribed to a lack of reliable snow. The Oslo based skiers will generally train locally, aside from some late fall mountain camps, and most of them have at least as easy access to groomed trails as in your average Norwegian town.