Olympic legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen stole the show on Day 1 of the 2014 Winter Games in the men's 10-kilometer sprint.
Now at the age of 40, Bjoerndalen's 12th Olympic medal was never in doubt after his run that saw him shoot just one penalty and a total time of 24:33.5—a full 1.3 seconds before the second-place finisher, Dominik Landertinger.
As NBC illustrates, No. 12 for Bjoerndalen ties an all-time Winter Olympic record:
BREAKING: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen wins the biathlon 10K to equal the all-time Winter Olympic medal mark with 12. http://t.co/HLiR0ODHd8— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 8, 2014
The win also marks Bjoerndalen's seventh Olympic gold in an illustrious career that began with his first top prize back in 1998, as the Australian Olympic Committee details:
OLE! Norway bags 2nd #biathlon Gold! Ole Einar Bjoerndalen wins his 7th Olympic gold in a career that began at Nagano 1998. Sensational— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) February 8, 2014
Here is a look at how the 10 competitors fared in the event:
|Rank||Name||Start Time||Shooting||Total Penalties||Time||Behind|
|1||Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway)||18:42:00||0+1||1||24:33.5||0.0|
|2||Dominik Landertinger (Austria)||18:37:30||0+0||0||24:34.8||+1.3|
|3||Jaroslav Soukup (Czech Republic)||18:50:00||0+0||0||24:39.2||+5.7|
|4||Anton Shipulin (Russia)||18:54:00||0+1||1||24:39.9||+6.4|
|5||Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (Canada)||19:02:30||0+0||0||24:43.2||+9.7|
|6||Martin Fourcade (France)||18:49:30||1+0||1||24:45.9||+12.4|
|7||Simon Eder (Austria)||18:45:00||0+0||0||24:47.2||+13.7|
|8||Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic)||18:33:00||0+0||0||24:48.1||+14.6|
|9||Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway)||18:44:30||0+1||1||25:02.8||+29.3|
|10||Jakov Fak (Slovenia)||19:06:00||0+0||0||25:06.5||+33.0|
Rounding out the podium was Landertinger with his 24:34.8 total, which was good for silver.
The Czech Republic's Jaroslav Soukup beat out more high-profile names such as fellow countryman Ondrej Moravec (who finished eighth) for the bronze medal thanks to his penalty-free shooting and an overall time of 24:39.2—just 5.7 seconds shy of first place.
France's Martin Fourcade was another favorite entering the event, but his pursuit of gold was hindered by one penalty and a 24:45.9 mark that saw him land in sixth.
Perhaps the most notable name to miss out on a trip to the podium was Norway's
landed in ninth place at 25:02.8 after a costly penalty, a sound 29.3 seconds behind Bjoerndalen. He can atone for his mistakes in the 20-kilometer event later in the Games, which he won gold in back in 2010.
As ESPN points out, the biathlon was another chance for America to grab a medal in the one Winter Olympic sport it still had yet to find success:
The 1st biathlon event of this year's Olympics starts in 30 minutes; only Winter Olympic sport in which the U.S. has never won a medal.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 8, 2014
The United States' best chance to make history was Tim Burke, who wound up in 19th place after one shooting penalty and a 25:23.3 total time, 49.8 seconds out of the lead.
The journey for Bjoerndalen,the 12.5-kilometer pursuit and individual 20-kilometer events still on the horizon in the coming week.
Note: All results and info courtesy of Sochi2014.com unless otherwise noted.