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Marit Bjørgen (born March 21, 1980 in Trondheimmarker) is a cross country skier from Midtre Gauldalmarker, Norway. She is with the Rognes IL ski club and is 5'6" (168 cm) tall, weighs 141 lb (64 kg), and is coached by Svein Tore Samdal.

World Cup

Bjørgen initially excelled at the sprint events, and seven victories in that event was enough to give her second place overall in the 2003/04 World Cup season. However in the 2004/05 season, Bjørgen became an accomplished distance skier also, and winning the World Cup.

On March 19, 2006 in Sapporo, Japan Bjørgen claimed her second FIS World Cup title. Bjørgen led the overall World Cup by 66 points, ahead of Canada's Beckie Scott going into the final race of the season, the 2 x 7.5 km double pursuit. Scott needed to win the race and for Bjørgen to finish no higher than eighth to claim the title. Scott did win the race but Bjørgen came fourth, winning the crystal globe with 1036 points to Scott's 1020. Bjørgen also won the sprint title for the season, 6 points ahead of Norway's Ella Gjømle, making the 2005/06 season the fourth season in a row that Bjørgen has won the sprint title. Bjørgen finished the distance standings in fourth place, 108 points behind Russia's Julija Tchepalova.

Bjørgen made the podium eight times during the 2005/06 season, six of them in first place, one second and one third place. Bjørgen now has 35 podium finishes, 26 of them in first place, 5 in second and 4 in third. Seventeen of her victories have been in the sprint, by far her most successful event, however seven of these victories were in the 2003/04 season and they have decreased in the past two seasons whilst her results in the other disciplines have got better. She has four victories in the 10 km and three in the pursuit. Her two other victories came in the 30 km in 2004/05 and the other in the 45 km Vasaloppet in 2005/06.

Bjørgen has competed in the World Cup since 2000, when she finished the season in 53rd place overall and 48th in the sprints. The season after she finished the overall season in 32nd and the sprint in 36th. The season after however (2002/03) she won the sprint title and finished in 6th place overall. The 2003/04 season was Bjørgen best season up until that time when she again won the sprint title, and came 11th in the distance standings, finishing the season in 2nd place behind Gabriella Paruzzi. In the 2004/05 season she won all the titles, and again won the overall and sprint title in 2005/06.

World Championships

Bjørgen has four World Championship gold medals, two of them solo. Her first WC gold was in the individual sprint in Val di Fiemme in 2003, where she also picked up a silver in the 4 x 5 km. Her three other gold medals came in Oberstdorfmarker in 2005 in the 30 km classical, team sprint, and 4 x 5 km. She also won a silver in the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit and a bronze in the 10 km free in the same games. At the 2007 championships in Sapporo, Bjørgen won two bronze medals in team sprint (with Astrid Jacobsen) and in the 4 x 5 km.

Olympics

Her Olympic medal collection is less impressive, with only two silver medals. Her first was in the 4 x 5 km at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Citymarker while her second was in the 10 km event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turinmarker.

Bjørgen had a disappointing Winter Olympics in Turin. She suffered from bronchitis a week before the games started and was prescribed antibiotics, then in the first race of the games, the 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit, Bjørgen withdrew during the classic phase complaining of an upset stomach. In the next event, the team sprint, Bjørgen and Hilde G. Pedersen came fourth, and despite winning a silver in the 10 km, the remainder of the games went poorly for her. The next event was the 4 x 5 km relay, where Bjørgen took the anchor leg and finished in fifth place, the first time since 1988 that Norway had failed to reach the podium in the women’s relay. In the individual sprint, Bjørgen failed to make the semi finals, and both Bjørgen and Pedersen decided not to compete in the 30 km and returned home to Norway. Afterwards she was quoted as saying she was "sick and tired of Pragelato and OL (Olympic games)".

However Bjørgen recovered to win the 45 km Vasaloppet from Oxberg to Mora on the March 4, eight days after the end of the Winter Olympics. Bjørgen broke away with Hilde Pedersen and Vibeke Skofterud after only 10 km, but Skofterud couldn't keep up with the pace and fell back, and Bjørgen powered away from Pedersen with a few kilometres left, winning in a time of 2:17:53, 1:22 ahead of Pedersen and 3:23 ahead of Petra Majdic of Slovenia. Winning a purse of 88,000 SEK and also winning two of the three sprints during the race to add another 10,000 SEK. Then three days later on the March 7, Bjørgen finished second in the individual sprint event in Borlaengemarker, Sweden.

Holmenkollen

Bjørgen won the women's 30 km event at the Holmenkollen ski festivalmarker in 2005.

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