Bolshunov became a three-time Olympic champion

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Skier Alexander Bolshunov became a three-time Olympic champion at the 2022 Games

Bolshunov became a three-time Olympic champion

Photo: Marko Djurica / Reuters

Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov became a three-time Olympic champion at the 2022 Games in Beijing. This is reported by the correspondent of “”.

On February 19, the 25-year-old athlete won gold in the race at a distance of 28.5 kilometers in the free style mass start.

Bolshunov became the best in the last race of the Beijing Games

Bolshunov covered the distance in 1 hour 11 minutes 32.7 seconds. After the finish, the skier bowed to the spectators and fans. In second place is another Russian Ivan Yakimushkin, 5.5 seconds back. The third was the Norwegian Simen Hegstad Kruger, 7 seconds behind the leader.

Norwegian Johannes Klebo retired from the race, unable to withstand the difficult weather conditions. He proposed to reduce the distance to 15 kilometers. Initially, he did not want to participate in the race, saying that the weather did not allow him to show his full potential. In addition, the Norwegian reported health problems.

For Bolshunov, this victory was the third at the Olympics

At the 2022 Games, Bolshunov became a three-time Olympic champion: in addition to winning the marathon, he has gold in the skiathlon and in the relay.

In total, in Beijing, Bolshunov won five medals: three gold, silver in the 15-kilometer race in the classic style and bronze in the team sprint.

For the Russian, this is the second Olympics; in Pyeongchang in 2018, he won three silvers and a bronze.

Bolshunov dedicated the victory in the marathon to his wife

Bolshunov said that he does not consider himself the king of skiing, since he did not manage to run 50 kilometers. He stressed that, despite the cold weather, he was ready to cover the whole distance. The athlete called his result phenomenal, but added that this is not the limit of his dreams, as there are many races ahead of him.

The skier also thanked the coaching staff, family and service team for perfectly preparing him for the Beijing Olympics. He said that his wife Anna Zherebyatyeva was offended by him for not mentioning her when winning other awards of the 2022 Games, and dedicated the victory to her.

The marathon could not take place due to bad weather

The race was postponed for an hour and shortened from 50 kilometers to 30. The reason was squally wind and low temperature at the race venue. Initially, they wanted to postpone the marathon to the last competitive day of the 2022 Games. The International Ski Racing Federation said that the decision was made for the safety of athletes and for them to be less threatened in extreme conditions.

Opinions on shortening the distance were divided. Norway coach Espen Bjervig said that the decision to replace the race was taken too late by the organizers, so it was not easy for the skiers to cover the distance. Russian coach Yuri Borodavko also spoke out against shortening the distance, believing that there is nothing extreme in weather conditions. In his opinion, the 50-kilometer race tests endurance and patience, and shortening it helps the sprinters.

By the number of gold medals won in Beijing, Bolshunov surpassed Klebo

After winning the marathon, Bolshunov surpassed Klebo in the number of gold medals from the 2022 Olympic Games. The Norwegian won two races in Beijing: a personal sprint and a team classic.

In terms of the total number of Olympic victories, Klebo is still superior to the Russian. He has five gold medals, in Pyeongchang he became a three-time champion.

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