Marit Bjørgen has joined Team Ragde Eiendom ©Team Ragde Eiendom

Marit Bjørgen, the most decorated athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics, has come out of retirement to join long-distance cross-country skiing club Team Ragde Eiendom.

The 40-year-old Norwegian has opted to come back two years after hanging up her skis following Pyeongchang 2018.

She has set her sights on the Vasaloppet, a 90-kilometre long-distance race held in Sweden every year, on the first Sunday of March.

"I have been out of the game for two years and have not had a concrete goal to work towards," Bjørgen, who carried out her first training session on roller-skis this week, said to NRK.

"I managed to keep up for 30 kilometres.

"Getting the opportunity to be in the world's best long-distance skiing team triggers me. 

"I am curious to learn something new and have something concrete to work towards.

"I have ambitions when I get a bib on me. 

Marit Bjørgen is the most-decorated athlete in Winter Olympic history ©Getty Images
Marit Bjørgen is the most-decorated athlete in Winter Olympic history ©Getty Images

"We'll see what I get done in training until Vasaloppet."

Known as the Iron Lady, Bjørgen has won eight Olympic gold medals, four silvers and three bronze.

She is also an 18-time world champion and a four-time overall World Cup winner.

The five medals she won at Pyeongchang 2018, including two golds, took her total Olympic tally to 15 and moved her two in front of Norway's legendary biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen. 

"Marit will train well," said Team Ragde Eiendom Pro Team manager Jörgen Aukland.  

"It will be less quantity than before but targeted specifically for Vasaloppet. 

"We know what it takes to win that race."

Therese Johaug, Norway's Olympic gold medallist and 10-time world champion who won the overall World Cup crown for the third time earlier this year, has also committed to Team Ragde Eiendom.