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First Olympic Biathlon Winner Lestander Dies At 91


January 15, (THEWILL) – Sweden’s Klas Lestander, the first Olympic gold medallist in biathlon, has passed away at the age of 91.

Lestander won the only biathlon event at the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, the men’s 20 km individual event, with a time of 1:33:21.6, beating out Antti Tyrvainen of Finland and Aleksandr Privalov of the Soviet Union.

The late Olympian, who lived his entire life in Arjeplog, where a square is named after him, began his sporting career as a cross-country skier but also had experience as a hunter, leading him to excel in biathlon. He placed 15th out of 30 in skiing at the 1960 Olympics, but became the first international competitor to hit all 20 targets, earning him the gold medal.

Lestander’s son, Dan, an artist who won the snow sculpture contest at the 1992 Winter Games, said that his father passed away peacefully and had the “full competitive instinct left” until the end.