INTERVIEW: “I still love biathlon, it gives me adrenaline” – Wierer

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Italian biathlon star reflects on four world medals and overall World Cup defence.

Biathlete Dorothea Wierer has just enjoyed the sort of season most athletes can only dream about.

The 29-year-old from Bruneck won two world golds and two silver medals on home snow at Rasen-Antholz, then held off great Norwegian rival Tiril Eckhoff by just seven points to defend her maiden World Cup overall title.

Here is what Wierer – who in February 2019 became the third ever biathlete after French duo Martin Fourcade and Marie Dorin Habert to achieve a victory in every biathlon discipline – had to say about her season, love of the sport and future plans:

How do you reflect on your amazing season now some time has passed?

It was a fantastic season for me. It was not obvious that I would win the World Cup again. It is always difficult after a winning season to still be at the top again. It takes mental strength to have continuity of results. I am very happy, especially because I also had an incredible World Championship. Winning in front of my family, my fans, it was great. I am proud that many people have approached biathlon thanks to my successes.

How did you adapt to perform under such immense pressure on home snow?

The pressure went away after the first medal. It was important to win the mixed relay, because I then freed myself mentally. I have no particular superstitions. I am satisfied when the day before I did all I had to do to get ready.

It was a big fight to retain your World Cup crystal globe, did you think the chance might have gone?

I believed in it until the end, although after the sprint I thought I had lost it. In the last race, I gave everything that I had without making calculations. I didn’t think about Eckhoff, I concentrated on myself.

What were the biggest challenges you faced this season?

Staying away from home for a long time, the long journeys from one race to another, recovering and tiredness.

Are you currently doing any exercises at home to keep fit?

I’m biking on the rollers and I run on the treadmill, then I do functional exercises.

What other athletes, outside of biathlon, inspire you and why?Federica Pellegrini and Roger Federer because they are athletes who work a lot in training and still manage to win after many years at the highest level.

Are you still as in love with biathlon today as the day you first started out as a child?

I still love biathlon, it gives me adrenaline. The races are never decided until the end.

Do you find it hard to switch off from biathlon and competition?

I can disconnect when I’m at home. My husband and I don’t talk about biathlon and this is important on a mental level.

What does the future hold?

I dream of having a large family, of having a peaceful life, and of being happy.

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