Norwegian skier Ole Einar Bjoerndalen: ‘Life’s too short to give up fighting’

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is the oldest Olympic gold medalist at age 40.
Credit: Getty Images

The new golden age for sporting prowess may be your 40s: Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen has become the oldest male gold medalist in Winter Games history.

Bjoerndalen, 40, won Saturday’s biathlon 10km sprint to equal the record for most medals won at the Winter Olympics (12), a record held by compatriot and cross-country skiing legend Bjoern Daehlie. Metro spoke with Sochi’s new hero after his historic, age-defying win.

Your first international appearance was in 1993 at a Norwegian World Cup competition. How did you manage to be one of the best in this sport for so long?

My philosophy is life’s too short to give up fighting. One must grit one’s teeth and try to do one’s best. I had some horrible years, but never without motivation.

It’s been 16 years since you won your first Olympics gold medal. What’s the difference between Nagano and Sochi?

I made no mistake: In 1998, that was a perfect competition for me. I’m not complaining about Sochi, either. I did well in skiing and shooting, too.

Even when you missed one of the targets?

I thought that was a point to say goodbye to my hope of winning. I was hoping to finish in one of the first three places, if I could keep my speed. This I managed to achieve, although my legs were not absolutely fine by the end of the competition.

Your compatriot, the eight-time Olympic gold winner Bjoern Daehlie, says now you are the greatest Norwegian sportsman of all time.

I am proud if he says so, but to me, he still is the greatest. It’s hard to compare the achievements of different eras as circumstances are different. Just one thing: Nowadays there are much more competitions than there used to be in the 1990s.

The 2016 Biathlon World Championships will be held in Oslo. Do you see yourself competing then?

I could list a thousand reasons why it’s time for me to retire. My friend [Norwegian cross-country skier and Olympic champion] Petter Northug said in two years’ time he wants to work in a car repair workshop repairing old cars that end up in Oslo. Maybe there will be two of us there.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.