Ole Einar Bjørndalen

Ole Einar Bjørndalen bigraphy, stories - Norwegian biathlete

Ole Einar Bjørndalen : biography

27 January 1974 –

Ole Einar Bjørndalen (born 27 January 1974) is a Norwegian professional biathlete. He is often regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. In 1992, he won his first career medal at the junior world championships. A year later In 1993, after winning a record three junior world championship titles, Bjørndalen made his Biathlon World Cup debut. His breakthrough came in 1994 when he featured on his first World Cup podium in a Sprint race held in Bad Gastein, Austria. Bjørndalen’s first participation at the Olympic Games was during the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, which were held in his home country of Norway. He obtained his first major victory on 11 January 1996 in an individual competition held in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.


Bjørndalen is a fast skier, and the first biathlete, to win an FIS cross-country world cup race. Teammate Lars Berger is the only biathlete to win individual and relay medals in both biathlon and cross-country skiing World Championships (both of the relay medals were gold medals). Bjørndalen excels on hills, is very quick on the flat, and he’s also good at downhill, because of his balance skills and technique. His ease on hills lies in his slight frame. Skiers such as Bjørndalen and Raphael Poiree who are smaller built tend to ‘float’, or glide over hills.

Bjørndalen’s general tactic has been to skate as hard and as fast as possible from the start of the race, and build up a large lead, so that he is able to afford a miss in the shooting (a penalty lap takes roughly 23 seconds), and still be in the top. Although Bjørndalen has shown at the beginning of the 2006/07 season that he is taking the first lap slower in order to judge the pace of the race, and then steadily increase his pace.


Bjørndalen uses Madshus skis, boots, and poles. He uses Rottefella NNN bindings. His gloves and base layer are from Odlo, and he uses Casco glasses.

During the off-season in 2006 Bjørndalen was testing a new ski boot that had a high heel in the Torsby ski tunnel with boot manufacturers Madshus. The theory is that it forces the knee more forward for better position and it incorporates the large gluteal muscles.


Olympic Games

Event Individual Sprint Pursuit Mass start Relay
1994 Lillehammer 36th 28th 7th
1998 Nagano 7th Gold Silver
2002 Salt Lake City Gold Gold Gold Gold
2006 Turin Silver 11th Silver Bronze 5th
2010 Vancouver Silver 17th 7th 27th Gold

World Championships

Event Individual Sprint Pursuit Mass start Relay Mixed relay
1995 Antholz 12th 4th 5th
1996 Ruhpolding 19th 6th 4th
1997 Brezno-Osrblie 6th 9th Bronze Silver
1998 Pokljuka Silver Gold
1999 Kontiolahti 4th 19th 5th Bronze Bronze
2000 Oslo 20th 5th 4th Bronze Silver
2001 Pokljuka 10th 19th 4th Silver Bronze
2003 Khanty-Mansiysk 30th Gold 8th Gold 4th
2004 Oberhof Bronze Bronze Bronze 7th Silver
2005 Hochfilzen 6th Gold Gold Gold Gold
2006 Pokljuka Silver
2007 Antholz 32 Gold Gold 4th Silver
2008 Östersund Silver Bronze Gold Silver Silver
2009 Pyeongchang Gold Gold Gold 4th Gold 4th
2010 Khanty-Mansiysk Silver
2011 Khanty-Mansiysk 6th 22nd 24th 6th Gold Gold
2012 Ruhpolding 47th 20th 14th 8th Gold Gold
2013 Nové Město 25th 4th 10th 24th Gold