Ole Einar Bjørndalen (born 27 January 1974) is a Norwegian professional biathlete. He is often regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. In 1992, he won his first career medal at the junior world championships. A year later In 1993, after winning a record three junior world championship titles, Bjørndalen made his Biathlon World Cup debut. His breakthrough came in 1994 when he featured on his first World Cup podium in a Sprint race held in Bad Gastein, Austria. Bjørndalen's first participation at the Olympic Games was during the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, which were held in his home country of Norway. He obtained his first major victory on 11 January 1996 in an individual competition held in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy.