Sports & Culture Round-up: In the footsteps of the immortal

In 1982 Morten Andersen became the first Dane to be drafted into the NFL. He later went on to be one of the most prolific kickers in league history, racking up a number of records and eventually being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Some 37 years later, Hjalte Froholdt has become only the second Dane to be drafted. He was selected by the reigning Super Bowl champs, the New England Patriots, in the fourth round as the 118th overall pick.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time – one that really came to reality a couple of years ago when I thought I could do this. But I’m so excited and thankful for this opportunity. It still hasn’t really hit me yet. But I’m really grateful,” Froholdt told CBS Boston.

A quick learner
Froholdt, a 139-kilo offensive guard out of the University of Arkansas, didn’t play properly until he was a sophomore in high school in the US on exchange.
Now, he will be lining up to protect legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who is just fresh off his sixth Super Bowl title last season.
It not a stretch to say that the Patriots fan base in Denmark has increased by about 10,000 percent since the April 27 selection.

First Euro wrestling gold
When Rajbek Bisultanov was 12, he fled war-torn Chechnya with his family and ended up in Herning, Denmark, a place where he faced new barriers and challenges in the form of language and culture. Now 23, just over a decade later, the former refugee has done something no Dane has managed to do in almost a century: bring home a European title in wrestling. Bisultanov won the title in the 82-kilo class in Bucharest, beating Lasha Gobadze of Georgia 4-3 in a riveting final. His victory was all the more impressive given he has only been wrestling at a senior level for just one year.

Von Trier loves Freddy
David Bowie, LS Lowry, Albert Finney, TE Lawrence, Harold Pinter – that’s the ultimate anti-establishment five-a-side team. All of them turned down the chance to shake the British establishment by the hand and accept a knighthood. So surely Lars von Trier, an arch Republican, would do the same? No! Last month the queen handed him the Rungstedlund Prize – a culture award in honour of Karen Blixen. “I want to say to her majesty that, in hopefully a very long time from now, we will get a really, really good and nice king,” he said. “And that’s coming from a Republican.”

Another Bond baddie
Up until the Pierce Brosnan era, the Danes didn’t get a look-in when it came to villainous James Bond roles. But since Ulrich Thomsen’s appearance in ‘The World Is Not Enough’ in 1999, the roles have been pouring in, and the news that Danish-Swedish actor David Dencik will play a baddie in the next film takes the number up to four in the last eight. The Danes came into their own with Daniel Craig. Mads Mikkelsen played the main villain in ‘Casino Royale’, and Jesper Christensen had a quieter role in the same film, which he continued in ‘Quantum of Solace’ and ‘Spectre’.

HBO hits the wall
The HBO Nordic streaming site crashed following the release of the first episode of the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ on April 15, leaving the door open for C More, which also holds the rights, to beat its all-time one-day sales record by 30 percent. HBO Nordic laughed it off, saying it had been “invaded by the Night King and his army of the dead”.

Spinal Tap connection?
Fans of ‘This is Spinal Tap’ might have noticed there is a new Danish musical called ‘Jack the Ripper: The Musical’ – an idea proposed in a scene from the 1984 film in which the band members sing the lines “Saucy Jack, you’re a naughty one, Saucy Jack, you’re a haughty one.” The musical is playing at the Folketeatret Store Turnéscene in Bellahøj until May 11.

Vulnerable to knee injuries
FEMALE FOOTBALLERS are two to five times more likely to suffer cruciate ligament injuries than men. The equivalent of 20 percent of the players in the top flight will suffer the injury at some point in their careers. Research in Norway suggests the rate could be cut by 50 percent with preventative training – mostly to strengthen the thighs, which serve to protect the ligament.

Tauson’s WTA debut
Clara Tauson played her first ever WTA match at the Samsung Open in Switzerland, but came up short to Evgeniya Rodina, the Russian world number 69. Nevertheless, Tauson is now in the world’s top 400. Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki made her first final of the year at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, but lost to Madison Keys.

Rafael on the oche
Former Dutch footballer Rafael van der Vaart, a FC Midtjylland player until recently, is taking part in the Denmark Open & Masters in darts from May 4-5 in Esbjerg. His brother, Fernando, is also a darts player.