KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – It's approaching midnight on Monday, four hours after the Olympic men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit has ended.
A queue — mainly journalists and volunteers — is building to get on the cable car near the Laura biathlon stadium in the mountains above Sochi. Two men in track suits are coming closer. One of them, eating an apple, really looks a lot like Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
Hold on. He IS Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
The most decorated biathlete of all time has placed fourth this evening, just missing out on a record 13th Winter Games medal. Three targets missed, one too many to get on the podium. "To be in fourth place is OK today, I feel good about that," Bjoerndalen has said after the race. "I feel really good on the shooting range right at the moment. But you need to find a balance, and today I was really offensive and trying to do what I want."
While Bjoerndalen waits and finishes his piece of fruit, Norway team spokesman Halvor Lea passes the queue, briefly talks to the volunteer at the entrance of the cable car, and then waves Bjoerndalen through. The pair gets onto the first gondola. Two journalists who have been waiting at the front of the queue want to get on it as well, but Lea, with an apologetic smile, says 'no' and asks them to take the next gondola. This one is Ole only.
— By Eric Willemsen — Twitter http://twitter.com/eWilmedia
Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu