(Reuters) – Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, will not take part in this year’s Games in Pyeongchang after missing out on selection for the team, the Norwegian Biathlon Association said on Monday.
The 43-year-old, who has won 13 Olympic medals, was looking to take part in his seventh Games after competing in his first on home soil in Lillehammer in 1994.
“This day had to come and now it’s here,” Bjoerndalen, who finished 42nd at a World Cup event in Ruhpolding, Germany, at the weekend, told Norwegian television.
“I think I could have gotten in shape for the Olympics.”
Bjoerndalen won eight Olympic gold medals, four silver and one bronze. He lies fourth on the all-time Games medal list behind American swimmer Michael Phelps (28), and gymnasts Larisa Latynina (18) and Nikolai Andrianov (15) of the former Soviet Union.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot,; Editing by Ed Osmond)