Ole Einar Bjørndalen retires

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) retires from the World Cup circuit. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) retires from the World Cup circuit. Photo: Nordic Focus

The king of biathlon steps down after 25 years on the World Cup circuit.

“I have an incredible passion and motivation for sports. I wish I could continue my career for several more years, but this is my last season,” Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) said at the press conference on Tuesday, barely able to hold back his tears.

There are several reasons for his retirement, none of them lack of motivation.

“I wish I could say I’ve had enough, that I’m tired of racing and want to quit. But I’m not. I am retiring out of health and family considerations, after advice from my medical team,” Bjørndalen explained, adding that he has not yet made a decision about what he will do next.

The 44-year-old has been on the World Cup circuit for 25 years, participated in six Olympic Winter Games, earning 13 Olympic medals, eight of them gold. He also has 45 World Championship medals and 95 World Cup victories.