Imagen
A picture of a man skiing

Nils-Erik Ulset

Nordic Skiing
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Ulset is into his second decade at the very top of Nordic skiing.

Now in his thirties, at Sochi 2014, Ulset collected his ninth, 10 and 11th Paralympic medal at his fourth winter Paralympic Games.

At his first Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, he won two gold medals in cross-country. Fast-forward to the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, the incredibly adaptable Ulset finished as No.2 in the biathlon World Cup.

Earning four podium finishes across in IPC Biathlon World Cups in 2014-15, Ulset appeared to be focusing his attention on shooting and skiing going forward. He finished sixth in 2015-16.

Ulset will face challenges from many sides at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships including Ukrainian world champion Ihor Reptyukh.

But with biathlon legend and fellow countryman Ole Einar Bjorndalen, the most decorated winter Olympian in history, as his idol Ulset has already entered the ranks as one of Norway’s most successful para-Nordic skiers.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Impaired muscle power
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW3

Further personal information

Family
Wife Ingrid Kvendset Hagen, son Olav
Residence
Tingvoll, NOR
Occupation
Athlete, Consultant
Languages
German, Norwegian, English
Higher education
Administration Studies - Lillehammer University College: Norway

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried skiing at about age four, and discovered Nordic skiing at age nine in Tingvoll, Norway. He took part in able-bodied races until he was age 18, when he qualified for the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged to try the sport by his older brother. He was also inspired by watching Norwegian biathletes Ole Einar Bjorndalen and Halvard Hanevold compete at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. "That's when I decided I really wanted to do this myself."
Club / Team
Tingvoll IL: Norway
Name of coach
Anders Oeverby [national]

International debut

Year
2002
Competing for
Norway

General interest

Nicknames
Nikkis [his cousin could not say his name correctly when he was a child]. (Athlete, 08 Feb 2018)
Hobbies
Cycling, ski mountaineering. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the standing 12.5km individual biathlon event at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
His brother John Ola Ulset, and Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022, 08 Feb 2018)
Hero / Idol
Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen. (Athlete, 08 Feb 2018)
Injuries
In April 2010 he tore the anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] in his left knee. He returned to training in November 2010. (Athlete, 02 Mar 2022; nrk.no, 19 Jan 2011)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I can always do better." (Athlete, 08 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
In May 2018 he received the Egeberg's Honorary Prize in Norway. (aftenposten.no, 25 May 2018)

He was flag bearer for Norway at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. (paralympic.org, 16 Mar 2014)

In 2010 he received the St. Olav's Statue, the most prestigious sports award in Norway's Trondelag county. He was presented with the honour in recognition of his performance at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where he won four medals. (Paraidrett Norge Facebook page, 30 Aug 2021; nrk.no, 10 May 2010)
Other sports
He represented Norway in both cross-country skiing and biathlon at five consecutive editions of the Paralympic Winter Games between 2002 and 2018, winning three gold medals. (SportsDeskOnline, 25 Nov 2020)
Famous relatives
His older brother John Ola Ulset has represented Norway in able-bodied biathlon at World Cup events. (SportsDeskOnline, 24 Feb 2018; Athlete, 08 Feb 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (langrenn.com, 15 Apr 2021)
Impairment
He was born with a genetic condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects the muscles in his legs. "I have maybe 25% of normal muscle strength in my lower legs and my balance is very bad. So for me the hardest parts are flat areas where you benefit from having good balance. Also, very soft conditions and icy tracks I struggle with." (biathlon23.wordpress.com, 19 Sep 2019; Athlete, 08 Feb 2018; Paralympic Games YouTube channel, 02 Jan 2018)
Other information
RETIREMENT PLANS
He plans to retire from Para Nordic skiing after competing at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing and continue in his role as a Para sports consultant with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. "Sadly I will not be participating in Milan-Cortina [the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games]. It is a beautiful place, but the Games in Beijing [in 2022] are where my career ends. Sport has given me so much. Now I can try to give back. [His wife Ingrid] has sacrificed a lot for me to be able to do this so it's time to go home and give back." (france24.com, 09 Mar 2022; paralympic.org, 10 Sep 2021)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In March 2020 he began working for the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports as a Para sports consultant in More og Romsdal county. "I hope and believe that I can contribute a lot in this area, as I would like to give back to the sport that has given me so much." (skiskyting.no, 12 Dec 2021; basket.no, 10 Dec 2020; paraidrett.no, 24 Mar 2020; idrettsforbundet.no, 01 Jan 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 12.5 km Individual Standing Final Round 1
Men's 3 km Pursuit Standing Qualification 3
Men's 3 km Pursuit Standing Final Round 2
Men's 1x4 / 2x5 km Relay Open Final Round 3
Men's 20 km Standing Final Round 2
IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Solleftea (Solleftea, Sweden)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Short Distance Standing Final 2013-02-28 15
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2013-03-01 4
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2013-03-03 1
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-08 6
Men's 12.5 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-11 2
Men's 15 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-14 2
4x2.5 km Mixed Relay Final Round 2014-03-15 3
Men's 10 km Standing Final Round 2014-03-16 6
2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Cable (Cable, United States of America)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Short Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-24 3
Men's Long Distance - Free Style Standing Race 1 2015-01-25 5
Men's Middle Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-27 2
Men's Long Distance Standing Race 1 2015-01-30 4
Mixed Relay Final 2015-02-01 3
2017 IPC Nordic skiing World Championships Finsterau, GER (Finsterau, Germany)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2017-02-11 5
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2017-02-14 3
Open Relay Final 2017-02-15 2
Men's Sprint Standing Final 2017-02-18 5
Men's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing Final 2017-02-19 6
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 7.5km Standing Final 2018-03-10 6
Men's 12.5km Standing Final 2018-03-13 4
Men's 15km Standing Final 2018-03-16 3
4x2.5km Open Relay Final 2018-03-18 2
Prince George 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships (Prince George, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Middle Distance Standing Final 2019-02-16 2
Men's Sprint Standing Final 2019-02-20 5
Men's Long Distance Standing Final 2019-02-21 4