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M. Bjoergen takes over as cross country's most successful individual World Cup winner

2011-11-21 13:33:00 AIPS

Marit Bjørgen has clocked up the most individual World Cup cross country 
victories with her 47th win on home soil yesterday. Photo/ Rolf Arne Odiin.

 OSLO, November 20, 2011 - Marit Bjørgen (31) of Norway was crowned Queen of skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and the 2011 Ski World Championships in Oslo. Yesterday she exceeded all-time Olympic winter games winner Bjørn Dæhlie’s record with her 47th individual World Cup cross country victory . Dæhlie had notched up 46.

“It is not that important to defeat Dæhlie in these statistics, but I hope he watched my race on TV and it is really fun to start a new season in this way,” Marit stated after outrunning Charlotte Kalla of Sweden with 27 seconds in the 10 km in Lillehammer.

Now she is eager to go for the only competition she has never won in her career when the Tour de Ski starts in Oberhof, Germany at the end of December.

“The last two years I dropped competing in the tour to concentrate fully on the championships and made that successfully. Now the Tour de Ski is my main goal of the season and that could mean I have a better possibility to win the World Cup as well,” Marit Bjørgen said.

Still she has to realize that Bjørn Dæhlie is the King of cross country skiing - all together he won 29 medals in Olympic and Ski World Championships competitions - 17 of them gold. His Olympic results of 8 gold and four silver makes him the most successful winter Olympic athlete ever.

Marit Bjørgen has won 21 medals in Olympic games and Ski World Championships, 11 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals.

She gave a clear warning to the defending winner of the last two years, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, that the upcoming season will be quite another fight than before. The Polish defender had to realize a poor 10th place yesterday in a race where six Norwegian skiers were placed among the seven best runners in the competition.

Johan Olsson of Sweden surprised all by outrunning the entire elite of his sport at the World Cup opening by winning the 15 km 31,2 seconds ahead of Olympic and World champion Petter Northug who has his clear goal to win his first Tour de Ski this year. (By Rolf Arne Odiin, Chairman AIPS Nordic Ski and Biathlon Commission)

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