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
National

New Apple iPhone to have 'mobile wallet' function:…

(Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a…

Money

Second Shift: Balancing school, work and a side…

See how a Brooklynite balances getting her PhD while working two other jobs.

Local

NYPD: Early morning shootings reported along West Indian…

Several shootings were reported in the early morning hours before the West Indian Day Parade, according to the NYPD. A 55-year-old man was shot and…

Money

Investing: Buying low, selling high

Learn how rebalancing can help you be successful in investing.

Entertainment

Where to place the blame in a nude…

When a celebrity's private photos are leaked online, it's easy to jump to the conclusion that they only have themselves to blame, since they took…

Gossip

Security expert weighs in on 'The Fappening' and…

We speak to Rik Ferguson, vice president of security firm Security Research at Trend Micro, about the hundreds of hacked celebrity photos that leaked.

Gossip

Who is Ashlee Simpson’s new husband anyway?

Find out five things about Ashlee Simpson's new husband, Evan Ross.

Entertainment

Jennifer Lawrence and more: The big names on…

The names of more than 100 famous actresses, musicians and athletes were included in a list of purported hacking victims, nude photos of whom were…

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…

Career

The number of telecommuters is expected to nearly…

Until a few years ago, telecommuting was not considered a realistic option at most companies. But with technological advances like high-speed Internet and smartphones, more…

Wellbeing

Your new food ally to ward off type…

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide, according to a small nutrition trial from…