Norwegian biathlon stars Tora Berger and Ann Kristin Flatland waved their flower bouquets and pretty much ended their active careers over the weekend to the tune of Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to say goodbye.” Their older male colleague, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, said he was simply looking forward to start training for another season.
Berger, age 33, wrapped up her last season as a professional biathlon skier and shooter by placing second in the overall World Cup, just behind Kaisa Makarainen of Finland. Flatland, age 31, ended in 20th place when World Cup action ended at Holmenkollen in Oslo on Sunday.
Norway’s top male biathlon skiers also failed to claim the Cup itself, with Emil Hegle Svendsen placing second behind Martin Fourcade of France and Johannes Thingnes Boe ending third. Ole Einar Bjørndalen, legendary for his collection of Olympic and World Championship medals, ended in sixth place.
While Berger and Flatland are calling it quits, at least in terms of active competition, Bjørndalen changed his mind about retiring and is heading into another competitive season or two. At the age of 40, he just doesn’t want to quit, not after winning another gold medal at the recent Olympics in Sochi.
“I look forward to start training for next season,” Bjørndalen claimed on Sunday. He will thus be among the few athletes who’s still active while also being a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).