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Bjørn Erlend Dæhlie (born 19 June 1967) is a retired Norwegianmarker cross-country skier. He claimed eight Olympic titles and nine World Championship titles in his career. He won a total of 29 medals in the Olympics and World Championships in the period 1991 to 1999. This makes Dæhlie the most winning cross-country skiier of all time.

Dæhlie, born in Elverummarker, was the dominant cross-country skier of the 1990s. His 8 Olympic titles are a record for an athlete at the Winter Olympics, as is his total of 12 Olympic medals (he also won 4 silver medals) which he amassed in three Olympics (Albertvillemarker, Lillehammermarker and Nagano). In addition to his achievement in the Olympics he had great success in the world championships (17 medals of which 9 gold), especially in 1997 when he got medals in all five events. A career-ending roller skiing accident in 2000 prevented Dæhlie from adding to his collection of medals. Despite his unanticipatedly early exit from the sport, Dæhlie is generally considered the greatest cross-country skier of all time.

Dæhlie attributes much of his success in sports to his upbringing. Hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, soccer and, of course, skiing were all part of his life from a very young age. For much of his childhood Dæhlie wanted to be a soccer player, but after being prompted by a coach he tried Nordic skiing. Dæhlie did not have immediate success as a junior racer but he improved every year and after years of training he qualified for the FIS World Cup competitions.

In addition to being an athletic figurehead, Dæhlie is a cultural icon in Norway. A shrewd businessman, Dæhlie has been heavily featured in advertising campaigns, he started a brand of signature ski apparel, and he even co-hosted a television show called Gutta på tur.

Dæhlie also had a go as an inventor by inventing the Salomon Nordic System Pilot Bindings.

Bjørn Dæhlie has allegedly the highest score in a VO2 max test of 96 ml/kg/min. The test was taken off season. According to the test administrator, physiologist Erlend Hem, it is likely that Dæhlie would have surpassed 100 ml/kg/min had the test been taken mid-season.

Despite the fact that he never won an event at the Holmenkollen ski festivalmarker Dæhlie was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1997 (shared with Bjarte Engen Vik and Stefania Belmondo).

After retiring Dæhlie has become a successful businessman in real estate and fashion. His real estate investments have produced a fortune of more than 200 million kroner.


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