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Marte Olsbu Roeiseland: making winning Olympic biathlon medals her business

Before her debut at PyeongChang 2018, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland registered as a mere blip on the biathlon world’s radar. She has since emerged as one of the sport's superstars, adding Beijing 2022 silverware to her growing collection. 

3 min By Ockert de Villiers
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland
(Picture by 2022 Getty Images)

Prolific medal collector Marte Olsbu Roeiseland is fast becoming one of Norway’s most decorated female Olympians in the biathlon.

Just days into her second Olympic Winter Games, Olsbu Roeiseland added two medals to her tally at Beijing 2022. Olsbu Roeiseland struck gold on the first day of the biathlon competition, winning the mixed 4x6km relay title before adding the women’s 15km individual bronze two days later.

Medal collector

She came into the Beijing showpiece as the woman to beat as the top-ranked biathlete during the World Cup season, highlighting her consistent good form.

Olsbu Roeiseland won her first Olympic gold medal as leadoff in the 4x6km mixed relay in the first biathlon of Beijing 2022, fighting back from an early setback in the prone stage.

"We did a great job, the whole team, and I'm so happy to race with such good teammates. It's my first Olympic gold, so I'm super happy," said Olsbu Roeiseland.

She won her second individual Olympic medal in the 15km individual event – missing a prone and a standing shot – to claim the bronze medal.

"It was a tough medal this time, the snow was really slow, so it was difficult, but I am super happy about my bronze medal today," she said after the race.

"It was tough all the way, I was fighting, and fighting and fighting…but I got the bronze medal after all."

Buoyed by her two medals and early form, the Norwegian ace will go into Friday's (11 February) sprint event looking to add to her legacy as one of the biathlon greats. It may be hard to believe, but Olsbu Roeiseland's path to the podium has not been an easy one. She had to toil for more than five years before she finally found her breakthrough.

Success breeding success

Her Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018 served as the catalyst for Olsbu Roeiseland’s medal-winning spree, where she clinched silver in the women’s sprint and the mixed team relay. Before her maiden appearance at the quadrennial showpiece, Olsbu Roeiseland had no major individual titles to her name. She had only won individual World Cup medals and won gold and bronze in relays at the 2016 World Championships in Oslo.

Olsbu Roeiseland seems to flourish under pressure coming into her own at the pinnacle of her sport – the Olympic Winter Games. She won silver in the women’s sprint in PyeongChang 2018, finished fourth in the pursuit, and bagged silver in the mixed relay team.

Olsbu Roeiseland’s newfound taste for silverware was a case of success breeding success, with her medals gaining traction. In 2019, she won three relay gold medals at the Östersund World Championships, but an individual title still evaded her.

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (2018 Getty Images)

Seventh heaven

No longer content with relay medals, Olsbu Roeiseland set out to win her first individual medal at the 2020 World Championships in Antholz, Italy.

One turned into two, with the Norwegian star winning the 7.5km sprint and the 12.5km mass start individual gold medal, while she also won bronze in the 10km pursuit and 15km individual. She reached rarefied air adding three relay titles to her collection, becoming the first biathlete to win seven medals at a World Championship.

She added two more relay gold medals to her growing list of accolades at the 2021 World Championships in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Olsbu Roeiseland has won a total of 14 World Championship medals - 11 gold and three bronze - between 2016 and 2021. She has shown no sign of slowing down as she continues her hunt for medals at the Olympic Winter Games and beyond.

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (2022 Getty Images)

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