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Ole Einar Bjorndalen An Impressive Olympic Run

Ole Einar Bjorndalen  An Impressive Olympic Run

Outside of the Olympics, biathletes aren't typically revered in the fan realm of the sporting world, especially when it comes to winter sports. However, athletes who participate in sports know exactly how difficult it is to ski a cross-country match and then compete on a rifle when you're fatigued.

This is undoubtedly why many sports people feel that Ole Einar Bjorndalen is one of the best athletes in the world. His gold medal sweep at the Salt Lake City Olympics helped to cement that status, but Bjorndalen has been working increasingly hard to win more competitions and to add more gold medals to the shelf.

Ole Einar Bjorndalen

Born on January 27, 1974 in Simostranda, Modum, Norway, Ole Einar Bjorndalen is a medal-winning biathlete who has been winning titles since the 1997-98 season. Growing up in Norway, Bjorndalen naturally took to skiing, but he wanted to do something more. Ole has always been an advocate for health and fitness, constantly pushing himself beyond his current limitations. In 2008, after 15 years of training constantly, Ole fell ill and missed a few weeks. He claimed that, prior to that event, he had never missed more than a few days in all that time. After he recovered, he was right back to training again.

The training has paid off throughout Bjorndalen's career. He has made some very impressive runs in the Olympics and in the World circuit. But none of his performances have been able to match his Salt Lake City domination in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In fact, no biathlete has ever matched that level of performance.

Bjorndalen's Salt Lake Sweep

Ole's first attempt at Olympic glory was in 1994 in Lillehammer. Although he was well trained and seemingly ready to compete, he finished 36th in the individual leg, 28th in the sprint, and his team finished 7th in the relay. 1998 was better, but the Nagano Games only brought one individual gold medal in the sprint, along with a silver in the team relay. Throughout Bjorndalen's professional career, he had progressive improved his performances. Splitting time between being a biathlete and a cross-country skier, Ole was consistently training and working on the necessary skills. As he entered the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, he felt very confident that this would be the year his performed peaked.

Going into the Winter Games in '02, Ole was met with fierce competition via rivals like Frank Luck and Sven Fischer from Germany, Wolfgang Perner from Austria, and Viktor Maigurov from Russia. These European men were incredibly talented in their own right, easily capable of taking gold. Yet from the first individual event, it was clear that Bjorndalen was on another level. He took the individual competition with a time of 51:03.3, 36 seconds ahead of Frank Luck. In the sprint round, Ole took another gold medal, defeating another German, Sven Fischer, by 31 seconds. Already Ole was tied with the former record holder, having earned 2 gold medals in the biathlon. No one had ever won more, but Bjorndalen was just getting started.

In the pursuit round, Ole dominated his nearest competitor, France's Raphael Poiree, to claim his 3rd gold medal in the Games. And along with teammates Halvard Hanevold, Egil Gjelland, and Frode Andresen, Ole claimed his 4th gold medal of the Games in the team relay event. This forever cemented Bjorndalen's legacy as a world-class athlete and the only competitor to sweep the biathlon.

Returning to the Olympics in 2006 in Turin, Ole would win two silver medals and a single bronze, followed in 2010 Vancouver with an individual silver and a gold in the team relay. He has also experienced a lot of individual success on the World Championships level, but nothing compares to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, where Bjorndalen still stands as the only biathlete to sweep the field.

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