Bjørndalen, Ole Einar

Bjørndalen, Ole Einar, 1974–, Norwegian biathlete, generally regarded as the greatest champion in the history of the biathlon, 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.

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