BY ROBERT MURRAY – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Since 2010, each discipline in the Winter Olympic program has undergone significant change. With less than one year to go until the 2014 Games, I’ll be taking a look at what to expect from Canada and the rest of the world in Sochi. Today I take a look at biathlon.
What happened in 2010?: Norwegian prodigy Emil Hegle Svendsen earned his first Olympic medals taking home two golds and a silver. On the women’s side, Germany’s Magdalena Neuner and Kati Willhelm helped the Germans’ dominate the women’s events.
What has changed?: Both Neuner and Willhelm along with some of the stronger Russian biathletes retired. The gap in competition has seen a rise in the development of an already strong Russian and French programs. New for 2014 is the inclusion of the mixed relay event.
What Canadians should I watch?: This will be Jean-Phillippe Leguellec’s third Olympic games and he will be looking to earn Canada’s first biathlon medal since Myriam Bedard’s double gold performance in 1994. The Canadian women’s team used Vancouver as a training ground for Sochi. The women’s field will be competitive and athletes like Zina Kocher and Claude Godbout might find themselves on the outside looking in.
Who could steal the show?: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will turn 40 years old shortly before the 2014 Olympics open but to this veteran, age is just a number. Another few numbers: six Olympic Gold medals and nineteen gold medals at the World Championships. He isn’t as dominant as he used to be, but he can’t be counted out in any of the events.