In 2018, the news came that Ole Einar Björndalen had put skis on the shelf, ending his legendary biathlon career.
A year and a half later, the 48-year-old announced that he and his wife, Daria Domracheva, were the new coaches of the Chinese biathlon team.
In an interview with NRK prior to the men’s joint start at Sjusjøen, he spoke about his coaching career and the challenges in China.
Bjørndalen states, among other things, that he ran into problems, especially when it came to training habits and cultural differences.
– It is a completely different way of training Chinese athletes than Norwegian athletes. It’s not self-propelled, so you need to be present with every workout. He tells NRK that there are no sessions where Dargah or I don’t attend.
He also refers to injuries, and reveals that he has experienced a lot of frustration about the Chinese approach to rehabilitation.
– In biathlon you have to be badly injured to not be able to train. In China, it’s quite different, he says before continuing:
– If you have a small scrape or have experience on roller skates, you should lie down.
He also cites an example.
– We had a girl last year. I was ordered to stay in bed for four weeks. It should not move.
– He admits that he is very frustrated in the culture what is training and what is disease.
There are only three months left before the Olympic Games in Beijing, which is the main goal of Beurendalen and the Chinese team in biathlon.
Bjørndalen himself is a holder of 13 Olympic medals, of which 8 are gold, and is thus the most Olympic winning athlete ever.
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