Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
Power Of Positive Thinking
Bjoerndalen, however, was inconsistent. Hammer, who came along to help him in the mid-1990s, provided Bjoerndalen with a sense of stability. "He was considered a rock of talent with pebbles for nerves," Leduff wrote. Hammer, according to Leduff, "has become Rasputin in Bjoerndalen's court."
Even critics who call the biathlon a marginal event acknowledge its demands on athletes. One must ski fast on a cross-country course, then settle down at a firing range and hit a target 50 meters (about 165 feet) away with a heart rate at about 180 to 190 beats per minute. Skiing too quickly can be detrimental in biathlon, as competitors must slow their heart rate to where they are as motionless as possible while shooting. Bjoerndalen is in such strong shape that his heart rate can drop quickly; he can also make up for missing a target by skiing faster.
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