28. 10. 2012

Behind the track: Laure Soulie ”I am proud to represent Andorra”

The big heart from the small country…
Just between Spain and France in the mountains of Pyrenees. In Pas de la Casa. Proudly wearing letters AND in every race. Got it? I think so! She left one of the biggest biathlon nation to run the new in her country. What a courage!
It´s nice to to know you Laure. And I am sure it´s nice to know you by all the fans and readers of this exclusive interview.

It will be the 4-th season you don´t race for France anymore. Why did you choose representing your birth country Andorra?
     "I was born in Andorra, I had been going to school there, but my mother was French, so as a young girl I had two nationalities. When I was 15 years old I chose to go to French Alps for a sport studies. Then I had been competing 5 years for the French team. One day, my birth country Andorra proposed to me to change my federation. Until that day biathlon has never existed in Andorra. I wasn't ready yet, but one year after I started to think about it and I made a decision. I wanted to represent my little country in the new sport. And I´m proud of it."

But you still train with the French team, don´t you?
     "First 3 years I have been training alone, in spring and in summer in Andorra and the rest of the year I had an apartment in the Alps. During the winter the French team accepted me in the team. It was a big chance and I´m lucky to benefit their huge structure and people qualified. Last summer was the first year that I did all the training camps with the girl´s A team. It was very good opportunity."

Year 2006 - Presque Isle. You won bronze medal in relay. Do you remember what were you thinking immediately after the results?
     "It was my first Junior World Championships and it was unbelievable because it was in other continent and I ran the relay with 2 best friends that are still my best friends until now. This day will stay in my mind as a beautiful friendship experience."

How did you celebrate this success?
     "It was simply celebration, on the podium and at the first press conference. We were very exciting and touched. I have good memories about this American week."

If you could form your own dream relay team, whou would you choose?
     "I would choose my best friends Marie-Laure Brunet, and Marine Bolliet, because for me it is important to have a good cohesion and atmosphere in the relay team. And I will choose also Raphael Poiree because it was my idol when I was young and I like his personality as a coach until today."

Training with her best friends Marie-Laure Brunet and Marine Bolliet

Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi. What are your emotions? Will you be there?
     "I hope so. It’s my first dream and goal but I have to think about next season too."

What must have a stadium for biathlon racing to become your favorite?
     "I like most of the stadiums I have raced in, it’s difficult to choose one of them! But I´ll tell Antholz for the beauty of the sight and lots of people, Oberhof for the crazy atmosphere. From IBU Cup stadiums I like Martell very much, but it’s really not a easy to race there because of lot of wind, But I like that place - the track and the altitude there."

Enjoying high peaks of Nepal

Do you like summer biathlon on roller skis?
     "I like it because it’s a main way for training, but in summer I prefer to running in the mountains. For me it is better than to turn over and over on the road."

Can you imagine summer biathlon as a part of summer olympic games? You
would be one of the athletes who participated in winter and summer Olympic Games.
     "Maybe one day it will be true, we don´t know, remember the climate changes etc. But for me I won't like this new sport, because what I like is the skiing sensations. I train only for this reason, it’s incredible to be on the snow track."

I guess you like to travel all around the world.  What is your favorite place you have been to and what is your dream place?
     "In winter we have opportunity to travel during 4 months, but we see only few places and we don´t have time for visiting other places. It’s different when you travel by yourself. Last spring I spent 1 month in Nepal for holiday and it was the most beautiful travel in my life. Very relaxing and beautiful. I have climbed the peak and I feel the freedom there."

Laure loves running in the mountains

Do you want once your kids to become biathletes?
     "No. All I want to show them is the nature and sports, but what is most important I want them to find their own passion and to work hard to reach it. It couldn´t be especially in any competition."

Once when you retire, can you imagine you would travel to all the places and stadiums all over the world again as an ordinary spectator and feel the atmosphere from the other side?
     "Of course! I will watch and follow biathlon for sure, and if there still will be some friends of mine competing, I will choose one place in the winter and I will go on the other side of the track." 

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