Bjoergen remains benchmark in cross-country

Thu Jan 9, 2014 12:53pm EST
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By Keith Weir

(Reuters) - Marit Bjoergen is just looking to win one more gold medal at the Sochi Olympics - a relatively modest goal after the Norwegian cross-country skier's haul made her the most successful athlete at the 2010 Games.

She remains the woman to beat in the sport following her five medals, three of them gold, at the last Olympics in Vancouver.

The 33-year-old Bjoergen would settle for just one more title in Russia in February, where she says she could compete in all six cross-country team and individual events.

"My goal is one individual gold. I know how hard it is, you have to have a good day, there can also be some problems with the weather," she told Reuters.

Bjoergen, who developed her strength growing up on a farm, has a reputation as being approachable and down to earth despite her success in one of her country's favorite sports.

Her triumph in 2010 and subsequent domination of the sport represent a spectacular comeback after a series of lean seasons that left her contemplating her future.

She decided to stick with it but made changes to her training program to focus more on core strength and started to eat more fish as part of a healthier diet.

She dispensed with a piercing in her eyebrow after being told it could sap energy and, more tellingly, called on the services of sports psychologist Britt Tajet-Foxell, who works with dancers at the Royal Ballet in London.   Continued...

Norway's Marit Bjorgen skis to win the women's prologue 2.5km classic individual World Cup ski race in Falun March 18, 2011. REUTERS/Anders Wiklund/SCANPIX