Norway’s Winter Olympics superstar Bjørndalen not picked for Pyeongchang

Norway's Winter Olympics superstar Bjørndalen not picked for Pyeongchang
Ole Einar Bjørndalen. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
Norway's biathlon star Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who has won the most medals in the history of Winter Olympics, has been omitted from the team for next month's Games in Pyeongchang.

“The results achieved by Ole Einar Bjørndalen during the World Cup… are not good enough. He unfortunately did not meet the criteria” of the selection, the head of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Tore Øvrebø, said.

Bjørndalen, who turns 44 in a few days, has competed in every Winter Olympics since the 1994 event in Lillehammer, Norway, and was hoping to participate in a seventh Olympiad in Pyeongchang next month.

“It sucks that I can't go,” he told television broadcaster TV2, adding that he disagreed with the Norwegian Olympic Committee's decision.

“I think I could have found my form in time for the Games.”

TV2 said Bjørndalen planned to make a decision about his career at the end of the 2018 season.

Holder of a record of 13 Olympic medals (eight gold, four silver and one bronze), Bjørndalen is the best biathlete in history and also counts 95 individual victories in the World Cup and 20 world titles.

He won all four biathlon events — the sprint, the pursuit, the 20-kilometre individual and the 4×7.5km relay — at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

But in South Korea, Norway will be represented by brothers Johannes and Tarjei Bø, Emil Hegle Svendsen, Lars Helge Birkeland, Henrik L'Abee-Lund and Erlend Bjøntegaard.

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