Bjørndalen, Ole Einar

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Ole Einar Bjørndalen, 1974–, Norwegian biathlete, generally regarded as the greatest champion in the history of the biathlon, a grueling combination of cross-country skiing and target-shooting. After training at a Norwegian sports school, he competed at the first of his six consecutive winter Olympics at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994; it was his only medalless games. At Nagano (1998) he won a gold and a silver; at Salt Lake City (2002), four golds; at Turin (2006), two silver and a bronze; at Vancouver (2010), a gold and a silver; and at Sochi (2014), two golds. With 13 medals, he is the most decorated winter Olympic athlete. Bjørndalen has also excelled in World Cup competition, placing first overall six times (1998, 2003, 2005–6, and 2008–9) and second five times (1999–2001, 2004, and 2007), and winning 39 medals.