History was made today when Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway finished first in the Men’s Biathlon 10K Sprint. Bjoerndalen becomes the oldest athlete, at 40, to win a Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics. It is his seventh Gold Medal in Biathlon. He also tied the record for the most medals won at the Winter Olympics. It is still possible that he will break the record for number of medals.
Dominik Landertinger of Austria took the Silver medal and Bronze was won by Jaroslav Soukup of Czech Republic.
The top U.S. finisher was Tim Burke, who finished 19th, after incurring one penalty. Burke had been sick coming into the Olympics. He hopes to get stronger and be able to finish better in upcoming events. The second best U.S. biathlete was Lowell Bailey, who finished 35th. Leif Nordgren finished 45th and Russell Curier ended 61st.
Many noted the unpredictability of biathlon with the somewhat unexpected victory by Bjoerndalen. All the athletes are superbly conditioned. However, the mental aspect of rifle shooting can take a toll on a biathlete’s overall performance. Bjoerndalen achieved his victory despite incurring one penalty.
The Women’s Sprint will take place tomorrow.
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