Biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen Retires; Is Most Decorated Male Winter Olympian

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2018

Men’s biathlon 10k sprint gold medalist Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen celebrates on the podium during the medals ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

The most decorated male athlete in Winter Olympics history is calling it a career.

Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen has decided to retire at the age of 44, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). He competed in six Winter Olympic Games dating back to 1994, winning 13 medals (eight gold, four silver, one bronze).

He announced his decision in a press conference Tuesday, saying, "I would like to take a few more years, but this is the last season."

While Norway piled up the most medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (39), Bjoerndalen was not able to represent his country. He failed to qualify for Norway's team, ending a run of six consecutive Olympic appearances. Per Biathlonworld.com, he noted heart murmurs this past season influenced his decision.

Bjoerndalen medaled in all six events he competed in during his career: individual, sprint, pursuit, mass start, relay and mixed relay. Only once did he leave the Olympics empty-handed, which happened to be his first Games in 1994.

He took home four golds in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, and he won a pair of golds in his final Olympics in Sochi in 2014. He also racked up 45 world championship medals, including 20 golds.

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