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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…