Oslo is hosting biathlon World Cup races at Holmenkollen this week, but home-grown hero Ole Einar Bjørndalen isn’t coming. After some disappointing results recently, he opted to train at high elevations instead.
Organizers were disappointed even though Bjørndalen made the decision in cooperation with the leaders of Norway’s national biathlon team. It means that he won’t be able to test the Holmenkollen runs that will be used in next year’s biathlon World Championships, also to be held in Oslo, and that organizers have lost a prime attraction for this week’s events.
Bjørndalen, now age 41, impressed the entire sports world when he won another gold medal at the Winter Olympics last year. He’s won more medals than any other athlete in history but had no desire to retire and continued competing this season, only to land in 35th place in both sprint and pursuit events last week.
This week’s World Cup will proceed without him, with competition beginning at Holmenkollen on Thursday and ending with the relay on Sunday.