(ATR) Halvard Hanevold, a three-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion in biathlon, is dead at the age of 49.
Halvard Hanevold (left) celebrates gold medal at Vancouver 2010 (Getty Images)
The Norwegian Biathlon Association says Hanevold died at his home in Asker, near Oslo, on Tuesday. No cause of death was given. The organization’s president Arne Horten said Halvard “cared about his teammates and competitors” and that “he will be sorely missed”.
Hanevold competed in five Olympics between 1994 and 2010. He won his first Olympic title in Nagano in 1998 in the 20km individual competition. It was the first medal for Norway in the biathlon since 1984.
He won gold in the 4 x 7.5km relay at Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010. He also won two silver medals and a bronze medal during his Olympic career.
He participated in 16 world championships from 1994 to 2009, winning 16 medals (five gold, seven silver and four bronze). From 1998 to his retirement in 2010, Hanevold stood on the podium at every Olympic Games and world championship.
“We are immensely saddened by the passing of Halvard Hanevold, a biathlon and Olympic legend gone too soon,” International Biathlon Union (IBU) President Olle Dahlin said in a statement on Wednesday.
“He embodied the best characteristics of our sport. For an Olympic Champion with three Golds, two Silvers and a Bronze, he was humble, always curious and thoughtful but above all friendly, and he always found a reason to smile and a reason to laugh. More than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, generosity, wit, and ever-present smile which will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with Halvard’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Homepage photo: Getty Images
Written by Gerard Farek
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