Norwegian Ole Einar Björndalen is known as “The King of Biathlon” for good reason. Following is a retrans from the International Biathlon Union report by Jerry Kokesh, ref. http://www.biathlonworld.com :
|“My Greatest Award Ever”|
|Norway’s 2014 Olympic Sprint Gold medalist Ole Einar Björndalen was honored today in Bangkok, Thailand as the Best Male Performer at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. This honor was presented at the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) assembly, which represents 204 NOCS. The ceremony was broadcast in 25 countries and had over 1200 journalists in attendance. Greatest Award|
Björndalen, the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time with 13 medals including 8 Gold, 4 Silver and 1 Bronze called this, “The Greatest award I have ever received.”
The “King of Biathlon” is well known as a meticulous planner of his training and this trip half-way around the world was well mapped out. “I knew that I was nominated for this award for a while, that is why I arranged my training plans in the way that I can have two free days for this trip to Bangkok. I trained hard for almost four weeks, was on training camp, and looked forward for this little pause from preparations for upcoming season. I’m well prepared for this trip. I had a direct flight from Oslo so this is perfect. I took 20 sandwiches in my hand luggage, made by our chef Eva. My return flight on Saturday, will take me from +30 degrees in Bangkok to -10 and perfect snow conditions in Beitostølen.”
Proud of Norway and Biathlon
In a prepared statement, Björndalen thanked many of those who have supported him over his long career, that includes his first Olympic Winter Games in 1994 at home in Lillehammer, Norway. “Today I received a very prestigious award in the very first ANOC Gala Award Dinner in Bangkok. This is very likely the greatest award I have ever received, so this was very unexpected and fun. I’m honored to receive it especially when all Olympic committees in the world were voting, and I’m proud to be Norwegian in this case. I’m also proud for my sport of biathlon to achieve this in competition with other winter sports.
I would like to thank everybody who has helped me throughout my career. It’s impossible to name everybody but special thanks goes to all coaches and servicemen, the Norwegian Biathlon federation, Olympiatoppen and all my sponsors. I couldn’t have developed myself as an athlete without you!”
Congratulations to Ole Einar on this prestigious award from all of the Biathlon Family!
The AOC hosted a Welcome Home cocktail function for our Sochi Olympic Athletes at the Museum of Contemporary Art at the Rocks, Sydney on 9 May 2014. In attendance were Australian Biathlon’s 2014 Olympians, Alex Almoukov and Lucy Glanville together with their coach, Nick Almoukov. The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott presented each returning athlete with a memento, a pin of the Olympic torch with the unmistakable logo of the 5 rings. Our Olympic Team together with Committee Member, Mrs Genevieve Yan-Colebourn met dignitaries including Mr John Coates AC, President AOC and Mr Glenn Tasker, President Australian Paralympics Committee.
AB’s President, Dr Grant Flanagan and Committee Member, Mrs Genevieve Yan-Colebourn attended the important 2014 AOC AGM on 10 May 2014, learning important initiatives which AB will implement in the forthcoming year.
Biathlon competes with curling as one of the most peculiar winter sports. Biathlon is essentially a Nordic ski race where the competitors, carrying rifles, make stops to shoot at targets. It combines aerobic fitness with marksmanship, as maxed-out competitors carefully aim at the targets and fire between breaths and heartbeats. There is a strategic tradeoff to be made between accuracy (percentage missed), total time at the range, and the size of the penalty loop.
This brings me to product requirements. This is analogous the tradeoff that product marketing and engineering face when defining a new product. You can take more time in getting the product requirements just right, and then execute. Or you can go forward quickly, but with unverified product requirements.
Like the biathlon competitor who takes a few more seconds to fire, there is a Faustian bargain to be made: Delay several seconds and you are that much…
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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen from Norway (biathlon) and Hayley Wickenheiser from Canada (ice hockey) have been elected to the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by their peers at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games for a term of approximately eight years.
A new Olympic record was set by the Sochi athletes after 80.87 per cent of them made their way to the voting booths to cast their votes.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “As one of the founding members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I very much appreciate the high participation in the vote. It shows the value that athletes place on being part of the decision-making process and helping to shape the future of the Olympic Movement.”
The announcement was made today at the Coastal Olympic Village by IOC Executive Board members Claudia Bokel (also Chairwoman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission) and Anita L. DeFrantz (also Chairwoman of the Election Committee). The election was held over the past 21 days in the three Olympic Villages located in the coastal and the mountain clusters.
Bjoerndalen was elected with 1,087 votes, followed by Wickenheiser with 758. The two new members will replace Rebecca Scott and Saku Koivu, who were elected to the Athletes’ Commission at the Turin Games in 2006 for a term of eight years each.
Claudia Bokel said after the announcement: “The athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and our Commission is their voice in all decisions taken by the IOC. During the Games, our Commission members listen to the athletes’ concerns and opinions in all three Olympic Villages.” She added: “We also aim to offer them the best support possible outside the Games, for instance when it comes to questions of career transition with tools like the Athlete Career Programme and the newly launched MOOC. I am sure that our two new colleagues will make an important contribution to our work.”
On 23 February, Bjoerndalen and Wickenheiser will be proposed to the IOC Session for IOC membership. Pending approval, they will then be officially introduced at the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Games on 23 February.
Some 2,871 athletes were eligible to vote and had nine candidates from the same number of countries to choose from. Votes needed to be cast for two different athletes from two different sports. The candidates had to be presented by their National Olympic Committees, which were required to have their own Athletes’ Commission to select the candidate. In order to be eligible, the candidates had to be 18 years or older on 23 February 2014, have participated either in the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 or in Sochi in 2014, and have never been found guilty of a doping offence during their sports career.
Day 10 saw David Morris claim silver in the men’s Freestyle Aerials, Australia’s third medal in Sochi! Australians watched on in awe as the 29-year-old had the jump of his life. People were cheering and congratulating Morris from all around the world.
After asking advice from women’s Aerials bronze medallist Lydia Lassila, Morris stuck his silver winning jump.
The Olympian who discovered Morris in 2004, Kirstie Marshall, and two-time Aerials Olympian Alisa Camplin both tweeted their joy.
Australia’s most successful Olympian Ian Thorpe congratulated Morris and the Aerials team.
Olympians in Sochi were watching and cheering on Australia’s third medallist at the 2014 Games.
It wasn’t just Olympians cheering on Morris to his second place.
For details of tweets please see: http://sochi2014.olympics.com.au/news/australia-amazed-by-aerials-silver
TEAM: Australia has now won 11 Olympic winter medals and has had an athlete on the podium at six consecutive Games.
Australia winning medals at the Olympic Winter Games dates back to Lillehammer in 1994 and that famous Short Track Speed Skating 5000m relay bronze to Steven Bradbury, Kieran Hansen, Andrew Murtha and Richard Nizielski.
Zali Steggall then showed the world that Australians can ski, with Slalom bronze at Nagano 1998.
In 2002 the gold rush began and gained global media attention. Bradbury won Australia’s first gold with an unforgettable ‘last man standing’ in a dramatic 1000m Short Track final at Salt Lake City. Days later Alisa Camplin spun her way to Aerials gold, and in to the hearts of the nation.
At Torino 2006, Dale Begg-Smith blitzed the Moguls competition and Camplin again delivered on the biggest stage with Aerials bronze.
Vancouver 2010 was Australia’s first Olympic Team of gender equality (20 men/ 20 women) and our most successful. In a Halfpipe just outside Vancouver Torah Bright won Australia’s first Snowboard gold and Lydia Lassila bounced back from a horrible injury at the 2006 Olympics to win the Aerials gold. Begg-Smith also won silver on the Moguls hill near where he learnt to ski.
At the Sochi 2014 Games on Day 5, Bright again delivered an exceptional run of tricks in the Halfpipe to win silver and get Australian on the medal table for the sixth consecutive Games. Bright now joins Dale Begg-Smith as Australia’s most successful winter Olympian with a gold and silver medal.
Bright’s fellow golden girl from Vancouver, Lydia Lassila, thrilled the nation when she won bronze in the women’s Aerial Skiing on Day 7 of the Sochi Games. Lassila attempted a quad twisting triple somersault with a degree of difficulty (DD) of 4.425, executed brilliantly in the air but slapped the landing and fell to the side for a score of 72.12 points to secure the bronze. It was the first time the trick was ever done by a woman, and Lassila became the first mother to win a Winter Olympic medal for Australia.
Australia’s Olympic Winter Medal Tally currently stands at:
Gold – 5
Silver – 2
Bronze – 4
Australia’s Lucy Glanville has finished the Women’s 15km Individual Biathlon in 78th to complete her debut Olympic Games.
Glanville finished the five laps of the testing course in a time of 1:01:00.7 and was 17:41.1 behind Belarusian gold medalist Darya Domracheva.
In what is one of the most challenging courses in the world, Glanville toughed it out to ensure she had two Olympic results to her name.
“It was difficult out there,” said Glanville who was ranked higher than fiver other athletes, all who didn’t complete the race.
“I wasn’t expecting too much result wise but I didn’t feel too good on my skis which was probably a combination of my sickness and the altitude but my shooting was ok.
“It was not the best result but nothing to be too ashamed of.”
It was another evening of slushy snow after the Sochi sunshine at the Laura Cross Country and Biathlon Centre continued to make it hard for Glanville and her more experienced competitors.
“The snow started quite firm as I was in the first group but by the third lap it had really softened up.
“It is a tough enough course let alone in these conditions. It definitely made for a rough race.”
Hoping to use the Sochi Games as a platform for future success, the young gun will now look to progress over the next four years and then wear the Green and Gold again in Pyeongchang.
“I’m definitely looking to improve over the next few years.
“Four misses in the shooting wasn’t too bad but I know I can improve that over the coming years.
“Improvement in my skiing will come in more training hours, age and time.”
Glanville is now looking forward to soaking up her first Olympic experience by getting out of the Endurance Village and into the stands around Sochi.
“I was a gymnast for a ling time so I’ve always loved Figure Skating so I’m really excited to go watch our Australian Figure Skaters.
“I just want to go out and check out the venues and make the most of my time here.”
For Domracheva it was her second Gold medal of the Sochi Games after taking out the 12.5km Pursuit on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old beat home Switzerland’s Selina Gasparin by 1:15.7 while teammate Nadezhda Skardino claimed the Bronze.
Matt Bartolo | sochi2014.olympics.com.au