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."
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.
- Ole Einar Bjoerndalen - Chronology
- Ole Einar Bjoerndalen - Supreme At Soldier Hollow
- Other Free Encyclopedias