Marit Bjørgen

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Marit Bjørgen : biography

21 March 1980 –

In the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Bjørgen finished third in the 10 km freestyle event, before winning her first Olympic gold medal in the sprint. In the sprint she was up against a very strong field which consisted of Petra Majdič of Slovenia, who had taken a serious fall earlier in the day during qualification and Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland who was leading the overall World Cup standings coming into the race. Bjørgen won her second gold in the 2 x 7.5-kilometre on 19 February 2010. Bjørgen was also part of the 4 × 5 km relay team that won gold on 25 February 2010, finishing with enough time to cross the line with a large Norwegian flag given to her by a spectator near the finish, and jumping over the finish line. She closed out her trip in Vancouver by taking silver 0.3 seconds behind Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk in the women’s 30 km event.

World championships

Bjørgen has ten World Championship gold medals, seven of them individual. Her first gold medal in the World Championships came in the individual sprint in Val di Fiemme in 2003, where she also picked up a silver in the 4 × 5 km. She took three medals in Oberstdorf in 2005 in the 30 km classical, team sprint, and 4 × 5 km. She also won a silver in the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit and a bronze in the 10 km free in the same games. At the 2007 championships in Sapporo, Bjørgen won two bronze medals in team sprint (with Astrid Jacobsen) and in the 4 × 5 km. In Holmenkollen 2011 she won the individual sprint, the pursuit, the 10 km classical, the 4 × 5 km, and a silver in the 30km. In the 2013 Val di Fiemme World Championships she won the individual sprint and the double pursuit.

Asthma medications

In the 2009–2010 season World Anti Doping Agency allowed Marit to use a stronger asthma medication which is forbidden on the WADA doping list. (Norwegian) Bjørgen continued to use the medication over the olympics 2010 and was strongly criticized by Justyna Kowalczyk who accused her of doping. (Norwegian) this medication is no longer on the doping list of WADA, and can be used by any athlete. (Norwegian)