Bjørndalen, Ole Einar

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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 combination of cross-country skiing and target-shooting. 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 second most decorated winter Olympic athlete. Bjørndalen also excelled in World Cup competition, placing first overall six times (1998, 2003, 2005–6, and 2008–9) and second six times (1997, 1999–2001, 2004, and 2007), and winning 45 (20 gold) world championship medals.