The exits of two major athletes in the sport – one a superstar and another a legend – have opened up multiple podiums ahead of the 2022 Winter Games.
Meanwhile, it could be a historic Games for a Norwegian who's been on fire during the leadup cycle.
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 28: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Laura Dahlmeier of Germany looks on during the Biathlon World Team Challenge at Veltins Arena on December 28, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Two-time Olympic champion and 15-time world medalist Laura Dahlmeier of Germany announced her retirement in May 2019, about a year after the PyeongChang Games. It was a surprising move because she was only 25 years old at the time and at the top of the sport. She told a Munich-based newspaper back home that she no longer had 100% passion for biathlon.
Dahlmeier is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 7.5km sprint, 10km pursuit and bronze medalist in the 15km individual. She won five titles at the 2017 World Championships. She earned at least seven World Cup podium finishes, and finished out her career with two bronzes at the 2019 World Championships in the 7.5km sprint and 10km pursuit.
KONTIOLAHTI, FINLAND - MARCH 14: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Martin Fourcade of France in the finish after the Men 12.5 km Pursuit Competition at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Kontiolahti at on March 14, 2020 in Kontiolahti, Finland. (Photo by Kevin Voigt/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Less than a year later, an even bigger surprise: five-time Olympic and 13-time world champion Martin Fourcade of France shocking called it quits, tweeting, "Time to say goodbye."
Fourcade won his last major race – a 12.5km pursuit at the World Cup in Finland – to earn individual World Cup win No. 83 on his career.
The 33-year-old is the reigning Olympic champion in the 12.5km pursuit, 15km mass start and mixed relay. His took home three medals from 2020 Worlds: two golds and a bronze.
OSTERSUND, SWEDEN - MARCH 21: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway in the finish during the Men 15 km Mass Start Competition at the IBU World Championships Biathlon Ostersund on March 21, 2021 in Ostersund, Sweden. (Photo by Kevin Voigt/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
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Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway is among the most decorated biathletes since PyeongChang, where he won 20km individual gold and two silvers in the relays.
The 28-year-old won four titles at the 2019 World Championships, three the next year and two in 2021. In total, his medal haul from the three contests: 15.
Boe has been even better on the World Cup circuit, amassing from the 2018-19 season on at least 15 overall podium finishes and six crowns.
He's the younger brother of Tarjei Boe, who's a two-time Olympic medalist and 11-time world champion himself.