The Season They Turned 26

The Season They Turned 26

At the end of the unforgettable BMW IBU World Cup 2018/2019 season signed by JT Boe there was one thing the stood out more than his extraordinary sporting achievements although it came to life exactly because of them.

Johannes Thingnes Boe, the unruly younger brother of another Norwegian biathlon legend Tarjei Boe and the guy who used to bask in the glory of the Oslo mass start win - as he said so in the interview for the IBU Magazine 51 which will be published by the end of this month - was such an overpowering force in the men’s field that he grew into a legend in front of the public’s eyes. As he went through this process, which very few people have experienced in their lives, he also matured. He did so spontaneously as back-to-back-to-back wins made him a biathlete who everybody will want to challenge.

This season's dominator is therefore no longer a challenger, he is the challenged one. He has said many times that he always compared himself to his older brother and his achievements. At the end of the 2018/2019 season he has finally outdone him. He might want to start comparing himself to Fourcade and Bjoerndalen now as he charters the territories of some of the greatest names in biathlon history. Fourcade, of course, is the person who has taught Boe so many lessons in winning different ways, Bjoerndalen is his most famous compatriot.

The Season They Turned 26

Johannes Thingnes Boe has won 16 competitions in the IBU BMW World Cup Season 2018/2019. Nobody has ever done that before, not even Fourcade who won 14 times in the IBU BMW World Cup Season 2016/2017 as his career’s best so far.

The competitive balance sheet in the individual disciplines of Johannes Thingnes Boe, Martin Fourcade and Ole Einar Bjoerndalen at the end of the season which saw them turn 26 years old will tell the following: Johannes Thingnes Boe has won one gold medal at Olympic Winter Games (20 km Individual in PyeongChang 2018), three gold medals at IBU World Championships (10 km Sprint in Oestersund 2019, 12,5 km Mass Start in Oslo - Holmenkollen 2016 and 10 km Sprint in Kontiolahti 2015), one Overall Title (2018/2019), five discipline titles and 37 competitions at BMW IBU World Cup level.

The Season They Turned 26

At the same point in his career Martin Fourcade had won two Olympic gold medals (20km Individual and 12,5 km Pursuit in Sochi 2014), five gold medals at IBU World Championships (20 km Individual in NMNM 2013, 10 km Sprint in Ruhpolding 2012, 12,5 km Pursuit in Ruhpolding 2012, 12,5 km Mass Start in Ruhpolding 2012 and 12,5 km Pursuit in Khanty - Mansiysk 2011), three Overall Titles (2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014), 10 discipline titles and 29 competitions at BMW IBU World Cup level.

The Season They Turned 26

Having had the most fruitful years of his career in his late twenties and then thirties, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won one Olympic gold medal (10 km Sprint in Nagano 1998) but he had not won IBU World Championship titles yet. He claimed one Overall Title (1997/1998), four discipline titles and 14 competitons at the BMW IBU World Cup level.

The Season They Turned 26

When he starts preparing for the BMW IBU World Cup Season 2019/2020, Johannes Thingnes Boe will know how Martin Fourcade has felt the last seven seasons or so, defending his positions and growing as a biathlete and a person. He will also know how the great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen felt for almost two decades as he explored the depths of his soul and body limits and kept reinventing himself and . . . winning.

Photo: (Manzoni/Slavik)

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