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March 13, 2011
Norway's Worlds winning team donate gold bonus to Japan tsunami victims

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (L) of Norway announces at a press conference that he and his team mates Alexander Os (2nd L), Emil Hegle Svendsen (3rd L) and Tarjei Boe (behind) will donate their 10000 Euro winning prize money for the gold medal at the men's relay for victims of the Japan tsunami during the IBU Biathlon World Championships at A.V. Philipenko winter sports centre on March 11, 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
by Rolf Arne Odiin, Chairman AIPS Nordic Ski and Biathlon Commission
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OSLO, March 13, 2011- There was a muted celebration after the Biathlon World championship relay in the Siberian city Khanty Mansiysk Friday afternoon as Norway's winning gold team used the trip back to their hotel to discuss how they could do something in any way to help the victims of the Japanese tsunami disaster.

The proposal of Ole Einar Bjørndalen who had just fulfilled his seventh Worlds golden relay was unanimously approved from the whole team - they would give the total prize money of 10,000 Euro to a charity organization to help the victims of the disaster.

"This is not the day for celebration. We have to think of all the thousands of people who died in the cascades of water and the millions of innocent people who lost their homes," Bjørndalen said on behalf of the winning quartet.

"There is not much we can do for all these people. But maybe our small contribution will be a sign to others and encourage those around the world to do something similar and at the same time be a sign for the victims that we support them and that they are receiving help," the athletes stated.

The national federation upon hearing what the athletes had done decided to kick in with their own share and match the donation with another 10,000 Euro.

In the Biathlon arena the success of international competitors did not give the Siberian public very many opportunities to celebrate.

22- year-old Norwegian Tarjei Bøe earned three gold medals winning the 20 km race and ran the last leg both in the mixed relay and men relay of the Norwegian golden teams and added bronze medals in the sprint and pursuit as well.
All time champion Ole Einar Bjørndalen did not manage to win his 93rd world cup race, but grounded a magnificent start for his team, shooting eight perfect shots which gave excellent support for teammates Aleksander Os, Emil Hegle Svendsen and Tarjei Bøe who could arrive safely at the finishing line.

German Magdalena Neuner dominated the female events winning sprint and mass start in addition to two silver medals.




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