Cross-Country SkiingCross-Country Skiing
Olympic Medals
Games Participations6
First Olympic GamesAlbertville 1992
Year of Birth1971


Andrus Veerpalu is considered the most successful male Estonian winter athlete. A classical style specialist, who rarely competed in freestyle, he is considered by experts as one of the strongest classical skiers ever. Veerpalu came into prominence quite late in his career, winning a surprising silver medal in 50 km classical at the 1999 World Championships. At the 2001 World Championships, Veerpalu won the 30 km classical and his most successful tournament was the 2002 Winter Olympics, where he won gold in 15 km classical and silver in 50 km classical. At the 2006 Olympics, Veerpalu repeated his 15 km classical victory and became, as of 2013, the oldest individual Olympic gold medal winner in cross-country skiing at 35 years and 8 days old.

Veerpalu's last major international tournament medal came at the 2009 World Championships, where he won gold in 15 km classical and became, as of 2013, the oldest individual World Champion in cross-country skiing at 38 year and 11 days old. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, where Veerpalu was sixth in the 50 km classical, he became the fourth cross-country skier to compete at six Winter Olympic Games, along with Maarja-Liisa Kirvesniemi, Harri Kirvesniemi and Jochen Behle.

At the World Cup, Veerpalu won six races during his career and had another five podium finishes, but never finished very high in overall World Cup standings because he skipped most freestyle races. His highest ranking in overall World Cup was seventh in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. Domestically, Veerpalu won 24 individual Estonian titles and three relay titles between 1990-11. Veerpalu's career came to an abrupt end in February 2011, just days before the 2011 World Championships, when he tested positive for HGH (human growth hormone) and received a three-year ban. In March 2013, his ban was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, when it was proven that the test used by WADA was not reliable to distinguish artificial HGH from natural background hormone and produced numerous false positives. Beginning in the autumn of 2013, Veerpalu worked as a consultant with the Kazakh national cross-country team.

Olympic Results

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