Biathlon great Ole Einar Björndalen is finally calling it a day after a career that began in 1993. The Norwegian, 44, won 13 Winter Olympic medals — six of them gold — in a glittering career.
Björndalen announced his retirement on Tuesday, three months after missing out on the qualifying standard for Norway's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics team.
He disclosed he had suffered from atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate during the run-up to this season.
Pyeongchang was the first Games he has missed since the 1994 event in his home country and it wasn't a decision that pleased the biathlete. "It sucks that I can't go," he said at the time. "I think I could have found my form in time for the Games."
Read more: What was behind Norway's medal dominance?
It proved an inauspicious end to one of the sport's most impressive careers. In his 25 seasons of competition, Björndalen won 94 World Cup races and 20 world titles,as well as the eight Olympic golds he picked up between 1998 and 2014.
A big star in his home country, where winter sports are popular, Björndalen won Norwegian Sportsperson of the year in 2002 and 2014, another demonstration of his remarkable longevity.
mp/dv (dpa, SID)