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Other Skiing Monday, 14 January, 2002, 10:05 GMT
Daehlie: Winner who took it all
Bjorn Daehlie
Daehlie takes a well-earned breather in Lillehammer
The most successful competitor in Winter Olympics history, Bjorn Daehlie will be sadly missed at Salt Lake City.

The Norwegian legend had planned to ski at the 2002 Games, but was forced to retire in 2001 with back problems.

He would surely have added to his already massive medal tally.

Daehlie dominated cross-country skiing for a decade, landing eight Olympic golds, nine world golds and finishing first in the World Cup rankings five times.

Bjorn Daehlie celebrates Olympic victory in Nagano
Here's to another Daehlie victory
A hugely dedicated and determined athlete, he made an astonishing Olympic debut in Albertville in 1992, winning the pursuit, the 50km freestyle and the relay.

Six years later in Nagano, he proved his durability, scooping gold in the 10km classic, the relay and the sport's marathon event the 50km freestyle.

But Daehlie saved even better performances for his devoted home crowd.

At the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway's favourite son was at the peak of his powers.

He won four medals in front of huge crowds and stood proud at the top of the medal podium after dominant displays in the 10km classic and the pursuit.


In Trondheim three years later, Daehlie again rose to the home support at the World Championships.

This time, his winning effort in the 10km classic was so impressive it prompted bronze-medallist Mika Myllylae to brand him "the man from another planet."

Olympic tally
Albertville: 3 gold, 1 silver
L'hammer: 2 gold, 2 silver
Nagano: 3 gold, 1 silver

Like most sporting winners, Daehlie was able to dig deep to avenge rare losses.

It came as a huge disappointment to him when Italy's Silvio Fauner outsprinted him in the final stages of the 1994 relay to deprive Norway of gold.

Redemption came in Nagano, where he helped his team fend off Italy and Fauner's strong challenge.

America had speedskater Eric Heiden, Austria still has downhill supremo Hermann Maier.

But in Norwegian eyes, there will never be winter Olympian to rival Daehlie.

Links to more Other Skiing stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to more Other Skiing stories

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