The first Sochi biathlon event is in the books, and we've already got some big Winter Olympics history to report: there is now a tie for the most-medaled Winter Olympian.
Norway's Ole Einar Bjøerndalen, who turned 40 last month, won the gold medal. He now has 12 medals (seven of them gold), tying him with countryman Bjørn Dæhlie, who happened to be on the scene to congratulate him. One more medal and he'll be the most successful Winter Olympian in history. Oh, and he's now the oldest individual gold medalist in Winter Olympics history, too.
Despite his age (this is his sixth Olympics!) Bjøerndalen was a medal favorite going into the event, though a victory seemed anything but assured when he missed a target in the standing shoot. In a short race like the sprint, one miss can be deadly -- it was for France's Martin Fourcade and Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen, who were heavily favored to win. They finished sixth and ninth, respectively.
The silver medal went to Austria's Dominik Landertinger, who was 1.3 seconds behind Bjøerndalen, and the bronze went to the Czech Republic's Jaroslav Soukup, who was 5.7 second behind. Neither got a shooting penalty, which makes Bjøerndalen's victory even more impressive.
As for the Americans, Tim Burke did the best, finishing in 19th place with one shooting penalty.
"To be at my best today I needed to have a great training camp coming in and be healthy, that was not the case," Burke told Team USA's Linda Jager (Burke had a sinus infection, though said coming into the Olympics that he was feeling better and "more rested.")
"This is the first race in many weeks for me, and I ran out of gas towards the end. It wasn't that bad, and I feel like I'll get better with each race. I'm happy with the performance, but not very happy with the result."
Lowell Bailey was 35th (two penalties), Leif Nordgren was 45th (no penalties) and Russell Currier was 61st (four penalties, oof). The top 60 finishers get to compete in the pursuit, so Currier just missed the cutoff.