In remembrance of Halvard Hanevold

In remembrance of Halvard Hanevold

The IBU was deeply saddened to learn of the news that legendary Norwegian biathlete, Halvard Hanevold, passed away on 3 September 2019.

Hanevold pioneered his sport with a unique style that inspired generations of athletes. His rich career began with the national team in 1992, where he remained a key member until his retirement in 2010. Both teammates and rivals are quick to note that Hanevold’s joyful flair combined with his relentless dedication created one of the best biathletes in history. His hard work set him apart as he challenged all those around him to push the limits and find the best and most effective way of doing things.

International Biathlon Union President Olle Dahlin said: “We are immensely saddened by the passing of Halvard Hanevold, a biathlon and Olympic legend gone too soon. He embodied the best characteristics of our sport. For an Olympic Champion with three Golds, two Silvers and a Bronze, he was humble, always curious and thoughtful but above all friendly, and he always found a reason to smile and a reason to laugh. More than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, generosity, wit, and ever-present smile which will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with Halvard’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

In Nagano 1998, Hanevold took gold in the 20 km Individual, marking his first Olympic medal in his second Games. It was also Norway’s first gold since 1984 and it played a central role in the rise of Norwegian biathlon. In both Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010, Hanevold won gold with the Norwegian 4 x 7.5 km Relay team. He was a true team player; always ready to share his knowledge and experience and always ready to set the standards in training for others to follow. From 1998 through 2010 he stood on the podium at every Olympic Games and World Championship.

He also participated in 16 World Championships, where he won five gold medals, and 432 World Cup competitions, in which he totaled 33 victories and 98 podiums. 

Hanevold wanted to remain close to the sport he loved in his post-racing career, so he became an expert commentator at NRK, providing colorful analysis with a touch of humor for many biathlon competitions.

The IBU extends its heartfelt condolences to Halvard Hanevold’s wife and children, his colleagues at NRK and all his teammates and companions in the Norwegian Biathlon Federation.