Russian skier cements iconic status in Beijing
It was another successful day for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) skiing team in Beijing as Alexander Bolshunov and Alexander Terentev won bronze in the men’s classic sprint relay – a result which cemented Bolshunov’s status as an Olympic legend for his homeland.
The Russian duo fought a fierce battle for the podium positions but victory went to Norwegian sprint king Johannes Klaebo, who claimed his fifth Winter Olympic title, as he and teammate Erik Valnes took a well-deserved gold.
Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and Joni Maki claimed silver, while Bolshunov and Terentev completed the podium.
The medal is the second bronze in Beijing for Terentev, who earlier at the Games was third in the men’s individual sprint.
By winning the sprint relay bronze, the 25-year-old Bolshunov added an eighth Olympic medal to his name, extending his status as the most decorated Olympic skier in Russian and Soviet history.
He has also recorded the remarkable achievement of winning a medal in every race he has contested at the 2022 Beijing Games.
Bolshunov has earned golds in the skiathlon and men’s relay, while he finished second in the 15km classic race before his bronze with Terentev in the sprint relay at the Zhangjiakou Cross-Country Skiing Center.
Bolshunov will next race on Sunday, vying for the unofficial ‘King of Skis’ title which goes to any athlete who manages to win the skiathlon and marathon at the same tournament.