Bjørndalen, Ole Einar

Bjørndalen, Ole Einar,

1974–, Norwegian biathlete, generally regarded as the greatest champion in the history of the biathlonbiathlon
, sport in which cross-country skiers race across hilly terrain, occasionally stopping to shoot, prone or standing as required, with rifles at sets of fixed targets. The biathlon features the 10-km (6.
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, a grueling combination of cross-country skiing and target-shooting. After training at a Norwegian sports school, he competed at the first of his six consecutive winter Olympics at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994; it was his only medalless games. At Nagano (1998) he won a gold and a silver; at Salt Lake City (2002), four golds; at Turin (2006), two silver and a bronze; at Vancouver (2010), a gold and a silver; and at Sochi (2014), two golds. With 13 medals, he is the most decorated winter Olympic athlete. Bjørndalen has also excelled in World Cup competition, placing first overall six times (1998, 2003, 2005–6, and 2008–9) and second five times (1999–2001, 2004, and 2007), and winning 39 medals.