Ole Einar Bjoerndalen not guaranteed relay places in record pursuit

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
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SOCHI, Russia — Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is two medals from holding the crown as the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

His team leader is aware of this, but the great Bjoerndalen won’t be getting any special treatment. In fact, Norway’s Per Ante Botnan said its teams haven’t been set yet for relays — Bjoerndalen’s best shot at medals, especially gold.

Bjoerndalen, 40, has 11 career Winter Olympic medals, including six gold. He is one medal and two gold medals behind all-time Winter Olympic leader Bjorn Daehlie, a retired Norwegian cross-country skier.

“He would need two gold medals for [Daehlie’s gold-medal record], and of course he has all chances,” Norway team leader Per Arne Botnan said, according to the Olympic News Service (ONS). “At this point we do not know who will be in the [men’s and mixed] relay teams.

“So far we only know the athletes that will start in the sprint race [Feb. 8]. What happens after that will be decided later. As a team we are not aiming for records, we aim for medals. With Emil Hegle Svendsen, Tarjei Boe and Johannes Thingnes Boe he has three stronger athletes in his own team.”

Check out a full breakdown of Bjoerndalen and others’ chances of matching or passing Daehlie’s record here.