Sochi Olympics Biathlon Men

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen ties Winter Olympics record with 12th medal, wins biathlon 10km sprint

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Bjorn Daehlie, you have company.

The great Norwegian cross-country skier’s record of 12 Winter Olympic medals has now been equaled by biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who pulled even with Daehlie today by claiming the gold medal in the men’s 10km sprint.

Additionally, the 40-year-old Bjoerndalen has become the oldest Winter Olympic gold medalist in an individual event with the seventh gold of his brilliant career. The previous record holder was Canadian skeleton racer Duff Gibson, who was 39 years, 190 days old when he won at Torino in 2006.

Austria’s Dominik Landertinger took the silver, 1.3 seconds behind Bjoerndalen, while Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic took the bronze at 5.7 seconds off the pace. Tim Burke led the Americans with a 19th place result.

MORE: NBCOlympics.com – Slideshow from Bjoerndalen’s record-matching victory

After making his Olympic debut in 1994, Bjoerndalen truly began his journey to becoming the “Biathlon King” with a sprint gold and relay silver at Nagano in 1998. Then came Salt Lake City in 2002, where he won four gold medals, becoming just the third Winter Olympian to win at least four golds in a single Olympics.

Torino saw him claim two silvers and a bronze, and he followed that with one silver and one gold four years ago in Vancouver. Now, with yet another gold in Sochi, he’s on the verge of becoming the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

MEN’S BIATHLON – 10KM SPRINT
1. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR), 24:33.5
2. Dominik Landertinger (AUT), 24:34.8
3. Jaroslav Soukup (CZE), 24:39.2

19. Tim Burke (USA), 25:23.3
35. Lowell Bailey (USA), 26:04.1
61. Russell Currier (USA), 26:58.5

Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
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After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise (video)

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Swiss Joana Haehlen crashed into netting at high speed during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Haehlen, 24, lost her right ski after landing from a jump and sped uncontrollably off course. She braced for impact, slammed into red netting and was turned around before landing with neither of her skis still attached.

She lay on the snow while being attended to and eventually skied down the mountain on her own.

It caused a 10-minute delay before the next skier, American Mikaela Shiffrin, could take her run.

VIDEO: Vonn details the most painful injury of her career