OBERHOF, Germany (AP) _ Olympic biathlon champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway plans to also ski cross country at next month's Salt Lake City Games.

Bjoerndalen, competing this week in a World Cup biathlon event, said Wednesday he would compete in the Olympic 30-kilometer freestyle race.

He captured the gold medal in the biathlon 10-kilometer sprint four years ago at the Nagano Olympics.

Bjoerndalen has been competing with growing success in both events on the World Cup circuits since last season.

He finished a close second in a World Cup race at the start of the season, just behind Sweden's two-time world champion Per Elofsson.

While Norway's cross-country skiers have been dominating the classical events, they have had little success in freestyle.

Bjoerndalen also could race for Norway's cross-country relay team at the Olympics, coach Pal Gunnar Mikkelsplass said.