Bente Martinsen-Skari

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameBente•Martinsen-Skari
Used nameBente•Martinsen-Skari
Born10 September 1972 in Oslo, Oslo (NOR)
Measurements173 cm / 63 kg
AffiliationsNittedal IL, Nittedal (NOR)
NOC Norway
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 2
Total 5


Bente Skari was the dominant female cross-country skier from 1998-2003. In this period she was World Champion five times, won the total World Cup four times, and won the sprint World Cup five times in a row – 1998-2002, winning a total of 42 World Cup races. Skari won 16 Norwegian titles, the highest ever for a Norwegian female cross-country skier until 2013, when Marit Bjørgen also won her 16th title. Skari’s only Olympic gold medal came at Salt Lake City in 2002, when she won the 10 km classical race, the first individual Olympic gold medal won by a female Norwegian skier.

She was born Bente Martinsen, daughter of the well-known Norwegian cross-country skier Odd Martinsen. Bente had her World Cup début at age 19, but had to wait five more years for her first World Cup podium. Skari was a classical specialist, and her first international title came in 1999 when she was World Champion over 5 km in Ramsau, Germany. She ended her career in 2003 after winning two World Championship titles in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Skari competed under her maiden name Bente Martinsen until the 1998-99 season. In 1999 she married Norwegian cross-country skier Geir Skari and competed later under her married name. She and her brother took over their father’s ski firm that he started in 1983, and they have done very well in the ski business. Bente Skari had an important role with the Organizing Committee for the 2011 World Nordic Ski Championships, being responsible for the cross-country events.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1994 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Bente Martinsen
15 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 20
1998 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Bente Martinsen
5 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
15 kilometres, Women (Olympic) =6
5/10 kilometres Pursuit, Women (Olympic) 9
4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women (Olympic) Norway 2 Silver
2002 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) NOR Bente Skari
10 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
30 kilometres, Women (Olympic) 3 Bronze
5/5 kilometres Pursuit, Women (Olympic) 6
4 × 5 kilometres Relay, Women (Olympic) Norway 2 Silver

Olympic family relations

Special Notes