Emil Hegle Svendsen, four-time Olympic biathlon gold medalist, retires

OSLO, Norway -- Norwegian biathlete Emil Hegle Svendsen, a four-time Olympic champion, has retired from the sport.

Svendsen, 32, won individual and relay gold at the 2010 Olympics and mass start and mixed relay gold in 2014. At this year's Pyeongchang Olympics, he won two silver medals and a bronze.

In comments reported by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Svendsen said it's "actually a huge pleasure" to retire.

He said he "needed a little time after the Olympic Games season because I often felt that the spark could come back. But I wasn't close to [getting it back]."

Svendsen follows Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, an eight-time Olympic champion, into retirement. Bjoerndalen, 44, announced his retirement last week.