Ole Einar Bjørndalen
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Ole Einar Bjørndalen|
|Full name||Ole Einar Bjørndalen|
27 January 1974 |
Simostranda, Modum, Norway
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Additional podiums||72 (biathlon)
|Total podiums||165 (biathlon)
|Overall titles||6 (1997-98, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09)|
Updated on 12 February 2012.
Ole Einar Bjørndalen (born 27 January 1974) is a Norwegian professional biathlete. He is often regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. In 1992, he won his first career medal at the junior world championships. A year later In 1993, after winning a record three junior world championship titles, Bjørndalen made his Biathlon World Cup debut. His breakthrough came in 1994 when he featured on his first World Cup podium in a Sprint race held in Bad Gastein, Austria. Bjørndalen's first participation at the Olympic Games was during the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, which were held in his home country of Norway. He obtained his first major victory on 11 January 1996 in an individual competition held in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.
Bjørndalen occasionally competes in cross-country skiing, and in 2006 he won an FIS Cross-Country World Cup race in Gällivare, Sweden, to become the first ever biathlete to win a cross-country competition. He is also the only biathlete who has won every event during the same Winter Olympic Games (four gold medals). He achieved this feat at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, becoming the most successful athlete there. This makes him one of only three Olympians to win four gold medals during the same Winter Games. He repeated this medal haul at the Biathlon World Championships 2005 in Hochfilzen, Austria and at the Biathlon World Championships 2009 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Bjørndalen became the most successful biathlete in Winter Olympic history by surpassing the previous record of 9 career Olympic medals, which he shared with Uschi Disl of Germany. He then anchored Norway to gold in the Men's 4 x 7.5 km relay. This was the second time that Norway had won a title in this event, with the other being at the 2002 Winter Olympics (also anchored by Bjørndalen). With this victory he became the second most decorated Winter Olympian of all time and one of only two athletes to win 11 medals at the Winter Olympics. Only fellow Norwegian Bjørn Dæhlie has won more Olympic medals, with 12 in total.
As of March 2012, Bjørndalen has won six Olympic gold medals, four silver and a bronze, as well as 18 World Championship gold medals, eleven silver and nine bronze (more than anybody in biathlon history). In addition, he has a record 93 World Cup victories and 160 podium finishes. He also finished in the top 3 of the Overall World Cup rankings for a record thirteen successive seasons between the 1996–97 and 2008–09 seasons. As well as being the most decorated biathlete in history, he is generally viewed as the greatest biathlete of all time.
Bjørndalen resides in the village of Obertilliach, Austria. He also used to live in Toblach, Italy, with Italian-Belgian biathlete Nathalie Santer. They've been dating since 1998 and got married on 27 May 2006. On 4 October 2012 they filed for divorce on mutual agreement.
2005/06 World Cup season 
Bjørndalen finished the 2005/06 IBU Biathlon World Cup season in first place, with Frenchman Raphaël Poirée in second place and German Sven Fischer in third. Bjørndalen lay in third place in the standings going into the last three races of the season in Holmenkollen, with Poiree in first, and Fischer in second. However Bjørndalen won all three races, giving him six victories in the last eight races, and clinching the crystal globe. He also won the pursuit, and the mass start title, and came second in the individual and the sprint. In the pursuit he finished ahead of Fischer by 54 points, and 29 points ahead of Poiree in the mass start. In the individual he finished 41 points behind Michael Greis, and in the sprint he was 5 points behind Tomasz Sikora. Norway finished fourth in the team relay.
His winning the World Cup title was all the more spectacular because of a cold he developed over the last Christmas period, in which he missed races 5 to 11, only coming back for the three events in Antholz, Italy, starting on 19 January 2006, this being the last World Cup competition before the 2006 Winter Olympics. During his illness Bjørndalen spent eight days in bed, and only started training six days before the first race in Antholz, including in his preparations two high intensity skiing sessions but no shooting practice. Probably that is one of the major reasons for his not-as-expected performance at the Winter Olympics in Turin. His not so fast skiing and unsecure shooting along with extremely bad luck left him without any gold medal and "only" with 2 silver and 1 bronze medals. It's a pity that his best and superhuman performance came at the relay event, where at the 3rd exchange he found Norway on 10th place about 2:40 minutes behind. By incredibly fast skiing, extremely fast and non-failure shooting Bjørndalen managed to reach the 5th place, having decreased 1:20 minutes. His absence from the races during the season and him still being able to win the championship further fuels the discussion of whether there are too many races in the World Cup schedule and whether athletes should be advised to sit some out.
Bjørndalen closed out the season by winning all three events (sprint, pursuit, and mass start) at the Holmenkollen ski festival biathlon competition. This put his career victories at the ski events to five, having won once both in 2003 (pursuit) and in 2004 (sprint).
2006/07 World Cup season 
Bjørndalen made a perfect start to the season, winning all of the first five races in Östersund and Hochfilzen. In the fifth race of the season, the pursuit race in Hochfilzen, he won with one of his largest margins ever, more than 2 minutes. On 30 December 2006 Bjørndalen took part in the famous Biathlon World Team Challenge in Gelsenkirchen (Veltins Arena, the Schalke 04's stadium). In front of about 51 000 people he won it for 4th time in a row. His partner for second consecutive time was Linda Grubben. They both left their greatest rivals, the Robert family, more than 1 minute behind. In Oberhof, coming down from training in the heights, he performed below standard for the season, shooting bad, and finishing only 30th and 5th in the individual competitions. In Ruhpolding Ole started good as usual by leading his team-mates to victory in the relay event. In the 2 following individual competitions he cormfirmed he was back on track winning the 2 individual competitions. Since he participated in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Sapporo 2007, he missed several Biathlon World Cup events, and after missing 8 competitions altogether Bjørndalen finished second in the overall standings, after German Michael Greis.
2008/09 World Cup season 
Bjørndalen started off the season suffering from the effects of long-term illness. Although delivering mostly rather unusual results in the races before the Christmas break, he still placed second in both of the pursuit events. He skipped the Biathlon World Team Challenge in Gelsenkirchen, focusing on training instead. After the break, he returned with variable, but more stable results, including victories in both the sprint and pursuit events in Ruhpolding and a third place in the mass start in Oberhof.
Controversy at World Championships 2009 
At the Biathlon World Championships 2009 in Pyeongchang, during the men's 12.5 km pursuit, Bjørndalen with at least 15 other competitors accidentally skied the wrong way at the start of the first lap. Just after leaving the start, the athletes skied over a bridge instead of skiing besides it, which was the right way. A jury meeting decided to give all these athletes a one minute time penalty, following a complaint from the Russian team. However, another complaint by seven other member states led to the Appeal Jury reverting to the original result. And with Bjørndalen's first ever 20 km Individual World Championship title he won 4 out of 6 possible gold medals (10 km sprint, 12.5 km pursuit, 20 km Individual and the 4×7.5 km relay).
After the World Championships Bjørndalen kept on achieving victories. With a second place in the sprint in Vancouver, he took over the world cup overall lead. He followed up with a second place, and two victories at the events in Granåsen, Trondheim (the latter being a mass start where he, for the first time in quite a while, shot clean). With the last one, he had 89 world cup victories (3 above Ingemar Stenmark), and 151 podiums. He secured his sixth overall win in the last sprint of the season, in Khanty-Mansiysk where he placed second. In the following event (a pursuit), he was beaten at the finish line by teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen, and won the pursuit cup as well.
Achievements and honours 
In 1993, at the age of 19, Bjørndalen became the first biathlete ever to win a grand slam by winning all 3 possible gold medals on the Junior Biathlon World Championships. As of May 2012, Bjørndalen has won six Olympic gold medals, four Olympic silver, one Olympic bronze, eighteen World Championship gold medals, eleven silver, and nine bronze, and a record high of 93 individual Biathlon World Cup wins, the most of any biathlete to date. He has won the World Cup six times (1997/1998, 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2007/2008, and 2008/2009) finished second four times (1998/1999, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2003/2004), and third once (2001/2002). In his first season (1992/1993) he finished 62nd, the season after, 30th and the season after that, 4th. When winning the overall world cup in 1998, at the age of 24, he actually won all that is possible in biathlon in one season – world championships gold medal, Olympic gold medal and the overall world cup title. His World Cup podium record is 162 (more than 160 including the victory and the podiums in cross-country) podium finishes, 93 1st places, 45 2nd places, and 22 3rd places. He is the only biathlete ever to win all four biathlon events in a single Winter Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City Games). This encompasses the sprint, pursuit, individual, and relay events, the latter together with three other participants (The first mass start only began in the 2006 Winter Olympics). Bjørndalen's 93 Biathlon World Cup victories and 1 cross-country victory is 4 behind of Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann's record of 98 World Cup victories for a winter sport athlete.
Bjørndalen occasionally competes in cross-country races, and has raced in World Championships before. During the off season in April, the Norwegian Skarverennet takes place, a 38 km race in the mountains between Finse and Ustaoset. Bjørndalen has competed in this competition, in 2006 he won the race in a time of 1:31.25, one second ahead of Frode Andresen, and seven seconds ahead of third place Kristen Skjeldal. In 2007 he won the race again and in 2008 he finished on second place. For his accomplishments in biathlon and cross-country skiing, Bjørndalen received the Egebergs Ærespris in 2002. In 2008, a nearly three meters tall bronze statue of Bjørndalen, created by a sculptor Kirsten Kokkin, was erected in his hometown of Simostranda, Norway. In March 2011, he, Michael Greis and Andrea Henkel were awarded the Holmenkollen Medal, as the first biathletes to receive the medal.
Olympic Games 
|2002 Salt Lake City||Gold||Gold||Gold||—||Gold|
World Championships 
|Event||Individual||Sprint||Pursuit||Mass start||Relay||Mixed relay|
|2013 Nové Město||25th||4th||10th||24th||Gold||—|
Overall record 
|Result||Individual||Sprint||Pursuit||Mass start||Relay||Mixed relay||Total|
- *Results in all IBU World Cup races.
Junior/Youth World Championships 
Individual victories 
|11 January 1996||Antholz-Anterselva||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Cup|
|4 January 1997||Oberhof||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|5 January 1997||Oberhof||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 January 1997||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|17 January 1998||Antholz-Anterselva||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 February 1998||Nagano-Nozawa Onsen||10 km Sprint||Winter Olympic Games|
|11 December 1998||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|9 January 1999||Oberhof||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|23 January 1999||Antholz-Anterselva||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|2 December 1999||Hochfilzen||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Cup|
|4 December 1999||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|6 January 2000||Oberhof||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|7 January 2000||Oberhof||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|22 January 2000||Antholz-Anterselva||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|1 December 2000||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|17 December 2000||Brezno-Osrblie||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|12 January 2001||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 January 2001||Antholz-Anterselva||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|21 January 2001||Antholz-Anterselva||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|28 February 2001||Salt Lake City||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Cup|
|2 March 2001||Salt Lake City||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|3 March 2001||Salt Lake City||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|6 December 2001||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|9 December 2001||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 February 2002||Salt Lake City||20 km Individual||Winter Olympic Games|
|13 February 2002||Salt Lake City||10 km Sprint||Winter Olympic Games|
|16 February 2002||Salt Lake City||12.5 km Pursuit||Winter Olympic Games|
|8 December 2002||Östersund||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|14 December 2002||Pokljuka||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|15 December 2002||Pokljuka||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|9 January 2003||Oberhof||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|12 January 2003||Oberhof||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 January 2003||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|19 January 2003||Ruhpolding||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|9 February 2003||Lahti||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|16 February 2003||Oslo Holmenkollen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|15 March 2003||Khanty-Mansiysk||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Championships|
|23 March 2003||Khanty-Mansiysk||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Championships|
|4 December 2003||Kontiolahti||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|7 December 2003||Kontiolahti||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|14 December 2003||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|10 January 2004||Pokljuka||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 January 2004||Ruhpolding||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|2 December 2004||Beitostolen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 December 2004||Oslo Holmenkollen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|15 January 2005||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|16 January 2005||Ruhpolding||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|19 January 2005||Antholz-Anterselva||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Cup|
|21 January 2005||Antholz-Anterselva||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|23 January 2005||Antholz-Anterselva||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|20 February 2005||Pokljuka||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|5 March 2005||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Championships|
|6 March 2005||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Championships|
|13 March 2005||Hochfilzen||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Championships|
|17 March 2005||Khanty-Mansiysk||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|27 November 2005||Östersund||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|22 January 2006||Antholz-Anterselva||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|8 March 2006||Pokljuka||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 March 2006||Pokljuka||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 March 2006||Kontiolahti||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|23 March 2006||Oslo Holmenkollen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|25 March 2006||Oslo Holmenkollen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|26 March 2006||Oslo Holmenkollen||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|30 November 2006||Östersund||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Cup|
|2 December 2006||Östersund||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|3 December 2006||Östersund||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|8 December 2006||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|9 December 2006||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|13 January 2007||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|14 January 2007||Ruhpolding||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|3 February 2007||Antholz-Anterselva||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Championships|
|4 February 2007||Antholz-Anterselva||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Championships|
|10 March 2007||Oslo Holmenkollen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 March 2007||Oslo Holmenkollen||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|1 December 2007||Kontiolahti||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|8 December 2007||Hochfilzen||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|15 December 2007||Pokljuka||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|6 January 2008||Oberhof||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|20 January 2008||Antholz-Anterselva||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|10 February 2008||Östersund||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Championships|
|6 March 2008||Khanty-Mansiysk||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|17 January 2009||Ruhpolding||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|18 January 2009||Ruhpolding||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|14 February 2009||Pyeongchang||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Championships|
|15 February 2009||Pyeongchang||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Championships|
|17 February 2009||Pyeongchang||20 km Individual||Biathlon World Championships|
|21 March 2009||Trondheim||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|22 March 2009||Trondheim||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|5 December 2009||Östersund||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|11 December 2009||Hochfilzen||10 km Sprint||Biathlon World Cup|
|10 January 2010||Oberhof||15 km Mass Start||Biathlon World Cup|
|5 December 2010||Östersund||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
|12 February 2012||Kontiolahti||12.5 km Pursuit||Biathlon World Cup|
- *Results are from IBU races which include the Biathlon World Cup, Biathlon World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games.
||This section has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. (May 2008)|
Bjørndalen is a fast skier, and the first biathlete, to win an FIS cross-country world cup race. Teammate Lars Berger is the only biathlete to win individual and relay medals in both biathlon and cross-country skiing World Championships (both of the relay medals were gold medals). Bjørndalen excels on hills, is very quick on the flat, and he's also good at downhill, because of his balance skills and technique. His ease on hills lies in his slight frame. Skiers such as Bjørndalen and Raphael Poiree who are smaller built tend to 'float', or glide over hills.
Bjørndalen's general tactic has been to skate as hard and as fast as possible from the start of the race, and build up a large lead, so that he is able to afford a miss in the shooting (a penalty lap takes roughly 23 seconds), and still be in the top. Although Bjørndalen has shown at the beginning of the 2006/07 season that he is taking the first lap slower in order to judge the pace of the race, and then steadily increase his pace.
Bjørndalen is a solid shooter, but is generally outside the top twenty marksmen. Bjørndalen finished the 2005/06 season with a shooting percentage of 84%, hitting 292 out of 345 possible targets, that placed him in 36th position for shooting accuracy. His shooting record for both prone and standing were practically identical, 146/172 in the prone and 146/173 in the standing position. In the individual disciplines, he shot 92% in the individual, 89% in the sprint, 96% in the pursuit, 93% in the mass start and 96% in the relay. In the 2004/05 season Bjørndalen was the 16th best shot with an 85% success rate, the second best Norwegian behind Egil Gjelland. He hit 331 targets out of a possible 364. His prone like most biathletes was much better than his standing shoot, he hit 169/180 (92%) in the prone and 163/184 (81%) in the standing. He had an average of 88% in the individual, sprint and relay, a 91% hit rate in the mass start but only 79% in the pursuit. During his career in 1999/00 he averaged 82%, in 2000/01 78%, 2001/02 74%, 2002/03 86% and in 2003/04 he hit 80% of the targets, however in those five years his standing shoot was the same or better than his prone shoot. In comparison his greatest rival Raphael Poiree averaged 87% in 2004/05 and 86% in 2005/06. Nikolay Kruglov was the best shot in 2004/05 with a 91% success rate, with Ricco Gross in second with 89%, and in 2005 Julien Robert was best with a 93% average and Gross again second with 91%.
Bjørndalen does have a shooting pattern. During the 2003/04 and 2004/05 season Bjørndalen took to firing an empty round for his first shot, so that he could get into a comfortable rhythm without missing the first target, though he appeared to have stopped doing this since in the 2005/06 season. Like most biathletes, Bjørndalen reaches for the barrel and swings it around to prepare to shoot, though this is not really possible when competing in biathlon in the summer as the rifles are different and less sturdy and pulling on the barrel might misalign the sights. Bjørndalen also shoots like most biathles from right to left because the rifle becomes more stable after every shot when the athletes are running out of breath (which they hold when shooting). However Bjørndalen has a tendency to shoot the first three targets from right to left, but then shoot the leftmost target and then the remaining target, second from the left.
Bjørndalen also started a trend of having a picture of an eye on the blinder.
Shooting statistics 
During the off-season in 2006 Bjørndalen was testing a new ski boot that had a high heel in the Torsby ski tunnel with boot manufacturers Madshus. The theory is that it forces the knee more forward for better position and it incorporates the large gluteal muscles.
See also 
- List of multiple Winter Olympic medalists
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists
- List of multiple Olympic gold medalists at a single Games
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ole Einar Bjørndalen|
- Fan page[dead link] (German)
- Short O. E. Bjørndalen biography at Wintersport.as[dead link] – Partly outdated
- the IBU's profile of Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
- International Olympic Committee Profile
|Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen