Norway first participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics and has since competed in all Olympic summer games except for the 1904 Games and the 1980 Games which Norway boycotted. Historically, Norway's strongest sports have been sailing and shooting.
Norway's only athletics medal in Athens came as somewhat of a surprise, as Andreas Thorkildsen had placed only 11th at the 2003 Worlds, and qualified for the final in 8th place. However, Thorkildsen set a personal best with his second throw, and was the only thrower to top 85 metres, let alone 86 metres. While he earned three extra throws as part of the top eight, he did not complete any of them, as no one managed to threaten his leading mark.
The only other top-20 places Norway earned in Athletics both came in race walking, as Sydney silver medalist Kjersti Plätzer placed 12th, around a minute behind the medal positions in the women's 20 km walk, and Trond Nymark finished 13th, more than 14 minutes behind, in the men's 50 km event. Both walkers set season bests at the Games.
Andersen was ranked ahead of only four other players in the draw at the Athens Games, but had the good fortune to draw one of those four in his opening round match against Yang. He won a three-set match over the Guatemalan, but fell to the eventual bronze medalist in the second round in straight sets.
Eirik Verås Larsen was part of both Norwegian medal winning boats in Athens, including the K-1 1000 metres, an event in which Larsen was the World Champion. Larsen handily won the 1000 metres, earning the third consecutive gold medal for Norway in the event. In his other individual event, the 500 metres, Larsen finished 4th, just two-tenths of a second from a silver medal. In the K2 1000 metres, Larsen added a bronze medal with Nils Olav Fjeldheim, this time finishing less than a tenth of a second from silver.
Gunn-Rita Dahle entered the Games having won both the World Cup and World Championships. Dahle was third exiting the start loop, but quickly took the lead, and while two Canadian riders stayed with her in the first lap, she quickly pulled free, and won by a full minute.
Three of the four Norweigan entrants in the men's road race pulled out before the finish, but Kurt Asle Arvesen attacked 28 kilometres from the finish, and was part of a leading foursome, but was eventually caught by the group and ended up 9th. None of the other riders in any event managed to get into a leading position during their races.
Hushovd and Kaggestad pulled out after 10 laps, having fallen behind. Hegreberg survived for one more lap before quitting.
Two-time world champion Olaf Tufte handily won both his heat and his semifinal, and in the final held off an Estonian rower over the last 500 metres to win by more than two seconds.
World champion Siren Sundby pulled into an early lead in the Women's Europe, and after a pair of bad showings dropped her to second place, she won three consecutive races to pull well ahead of her closest chaser, winning by almost 20 points. In the 49er, Sundby and Bovim also took an early lead, but struggled heavily in the middle section of the competition, dropping as low as 8th. They also had a strong finish, but could get no closer than 4th. The other three boats were not in medal contention.
Only one Norwegian shooter managed to advance to a final, as Harald Jensen survived two shoot-off rounds to squeak into the final of the Men's Skeet. Jensen had the worst final round in that event, ending up 6th. The only other top-10 performance from a Norwegian shooter also came in the skeet, as Erik Watndal fell just one shot short of being part of the shoot-off for a final place.
Norway's only swimmer in Athens was less than two-tenths of a second from qualifying for the semifinals, but ended up 21st.
Solheim won her first match in Athens fairly easily, but down 5-4 in her quarterfinal match, suffered an injury and withdrew from the match. She was drawn into the repechage, but her injury meant she was forced to withdraw from this match as well.
Only one of the four Norwegian pairs, Høidalen and Kjemperud, managed to get out of pool play, despite the fact that every team managed to win at least one match. Both men's pairs gave the eventual gold medalists Ricardo and Emanuel trouble, managing to force a third set both in pool play and the round of 16. The overall record for Norway in Beach Volleyball in Athens was 5-8.
Grimseth completed a lift of 185.0 kg in the snatch, but missed a Clean & Jerk attempt of 205.0 kg before pulling out. This would have placed him 12th if he had completed it.
Norway's only wrestler in Athens lost both of his matches, scoring only a single point and finishing last in his pool. Aanes had finished fourth in Sydney, but was stripped of that result after failing a doping test.
Erik Tysse was on the start list of the Men's 20 kilometre walk, but pulled out before the event.