1 minute read

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen

Elevates Biathlon Status

Bjoerndalen's success has brought international media attention to a sport many consider more appropriate for the ESPN Xtreme Games. And, of course, he is a hero in Norway, which takes its winter sports seriously. Bjoerndalen's performance, Leduff wrote, "has elevated him to rock-star status in his home country, where the combined art of skiing and shooting ranks second only to soccer."


1974 Born January 24 in Drammen, Norway
1994 Competes in Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway
2002 Signs clothing deal with Odlo, in conjunction with the Norwegian Biathlon Association; extends deal with French ski equipment company Rossignol
2003 Winning streak of four straight World Cup biathlons ends as Vladimir Dratchev of Belarus defeats him in Anterselva, Italy

Awards and Accomplishments

2002 Wins four gold medals, only third Winter Olympics athlete to do so, winning 12.5km pursuit, 10km sprint, 20km individual, and 4×7.5km relay
1993 Three gold medals, junior world championships
1995 Finishes fourth in World Cup biathlon ski standings
1997 Finishes second in World Cup standings
1998 World Cup overall champion
1998 Wins gold medal in men's 10km and silver medal in men's 4×7.5km relay at Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan
2001 Wins two World Cup gold medals

With success came sponsor deals. Bjoerndalen, who competed in World Cup events during the winter of 2002-03, signed a clothing deal with Odlo worth about $300,000. Hoping to shake off the burdens of celebrity status, he trained with fewer people during the offseason. As of late January, 2003, Bjoerndalen was second in the World Cup standings to Raphael Poiree of France. Vladimir Dratchev of Belarus snapped a Bjoerndalen winning streak of four biathlons by beating him in the 20 km individual.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBiathalonOle Einar Bjoerndalen Biography - Liked Target Shooting, Power Of Positive Thinking, Supreme At Soldier Hollow, Elevates Biathlon Status