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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen from Simostranda, Modum – The best biathlete ever
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen , born in 1974, Norwegian biathlete, has won 44 medals in Olympic Games and World Championships; among them 20 gold medals – 6 in Olympic Games, 14 in World Championships. No other biathlete has ever won that many gold medals and medals in all, as he has.

Text and photo by Åse Klundelien. Klick photos to enlargen

His greatest championship was the Olympic Games in Salt Lake city in 2002, where he won gold medals in biathlon Individual, Sprint, Pursuit and Relay. He is the only biathlete ever who has won four biathlon events in a single Winter Olympics. Up to January 10, 2010, Bjoerndalen has won 91 individual biathlon World Championships, and one World Championship in cross country.
He got Egeberg’s Award of Honour in 2002, which is considered to be the top award of Norwegian sports.

In 2008, Modum municipality put up a 3 metres tall statue of Ole Einar Bjoerndalen at Simostranda, and the site was named, Ole Einar’s Stand. The statue was made by Kirsten Kokkin.

Bjørndalen 1 Bjørndalen2

The Olympic Games in Vancouver, 2010, did not start out as a success for Ole Einar. He got a silver medal “only”, in Individual 20 km. He was no. 7 in Pursuit, no. 17 in Sprint, and no. 27 (of 30 participants) in 15 km Mass Start. Then – on the Relay race the Norwegian biathlon team did a splendid job. Ole Einar was the ancor, as of habit, and the team became Olympic Gold Champions again.

In 2002, after his victories in Salt Lake City, Ole Einar said, -All my medals are equally important to me. The first one was important for the rest of the games. The second one I got because I was a good sprinter. The Pursuit Gold was the most difficult one, because I was tired and tense in my head. But the Relay Gold was the most important one, because the whole team took part.

The well-known coach, Johan Kaggestad (from Modum also), says that, -Ole Einar has not used his great talent as a sleeping pillow. He has always been working on improving himself. Whatever performance just now, Ole Einar looks forward to the next run as the most important of all. -

You find no-one aiming at perfection like Ole Einar. He is always eager to search out small details that can be done better. He has an eager eye for improvements, not only on results.

Emil Hegle Svendsen has Bjoerndalen as a mentor. Svendsen won Gold before Ole Einar on men’s 20 km Individual biathlon in Vancouver. After the competition, Svendsen said, - I don’t think I would be here if it weren’t for Bjoerndalen. I practise with him every day, and I try to copy everything he does. I owe him great thanks, and I am very humble that I can be on the same team as he is.

In spite of his coming in on no. 27 in the 15 km Mass Start, Ole Einar said with a little smile, -Of course I am disappointed. But I also have to see the fun in it. It should not be possible to do such a terrible shooting!

After the Vancouver relay, he said, -OL came out perfect. My aim was to take two medals, preferably gold. To take part in winning the relay is great. Winning gold, together with the others, is even bigger than winning an individual gold medal.

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Sist endret 01.03.2010 Terje Bautz
Opprettet 01.03.2010 Terje Bautz
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