KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The numbers are piling up for Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway.
The 40-year-old captured his seventh gold medal in biathlon on Friday, winning the 10-kilometer sprint in the Sochi Olympics in 24:33.5.
It makes him the oldest Winter Olympics gold medalist, surpassing the record held by Canadian skeleton racer Duff Gibson, who was 39 when he won gold at the 2006 Torino Olympics.
"It means a lot for me. This victory is a four-year's job," he said at a news conference after the race. "I think this is the most important victory for me, for sure."
When asked how many medals would satisfy him at the Sochi Games, he said: "I am satisfied now."
It's his third gold in the 10K sprint; he also won in 1998 in Nagano and 2002 in Salt Lake City. He has 12 medals in his Olympic career, one short of the Winter Games record held by cross-country skiing great Bjorn Daehlie.
He could add to his total because Norway is a clear favorite in both the men's and the mixed relay competitions.
Dominik Landertinger of Austria finished 1.3 seconds behind to take silver, and Jaroslav Soukup of Czech Republic won bronze, trailing Bjoerndalen by 5.7 seconds.
Tim Burke of Lake Placid, N.Y., was the top U.S. finisher, coming in at 19th. He said he had been sick coming into the Games and now that he has completed the first event, he hopes to get stronger and race into fitness.
The second U.S. biathlete was Lowell Bailey, also of Lake Placid, who finished 35th. Leif Nordgren was 45th, and Russell Curier was 61st.