6. 10. 2013

Behind the track: Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle “Biathlon is my biggest motivation”

…one of the best cross-country skiers in the world with many Olympic medals has a new challenge. A year ago she started to carry a rifle on her back and …she has fun. Fun with some good newcomers results. And it was fun to make this interview as well.
Enjoy another exclusive sprint talk now with very nice German biathlete Evi Stehle.

- In my hometown Reit im Winkl you grow up with skis, so I think  I was skiing for the first time when I was three years old.

- After the 2011 World Championships I took one summer recreation for my mind and my body. I started with training again just before the next Winter season and my trainer asked if I want to go to Muonio with the biathlon Team, just to do my training there, because I wouldn't do any races that winter. So I went to Muonio with the biathletes and of course I tried shooting. We had a lot of fun in the team and I had a lot of fun with shooting. And after this training camp I wanted to face the challenge to try biathlon.

- Of course my ambition is to shoot clear and I have very good shooting results in trainings. Now I have to take it over to the race. I hope I will manage it this season.

- I have no big ambitions for Sochi, but I´d like to be at the Olympics as a biathlete. We will see what comes there.

- For the skiing in Sochi it's maybe an advantage that I was professional cross-country skier, because the tracks in cross-country are mostly harder than the tracks in biathlon.

Photo by foto-deubert.de

- I like hard tracks and Sochi is a really hard track.

- Currently my biggest motivation is the challenge to do biathlon. I have a lot of fun in it and that's the most important.

- It is difficult to think about putting together my own dream relay team, because there are too many athletes I like to have in it.

- I have really great Finnish fans which accompany my career for many many years. I'm very happy and proud to have such fans like them!

- If my fans wanted to make me happy with my favorite food they could prepare me Antipasti and the "Apfelstrudel" of my grandmother. And if is there something special delicious that I could cook for them? You should ask my husband.

 - I like more winter skiing than roller skiing but of course it's a good training in summer.

- Until now I haven't thought about summer biathlon as a part of summer Olympic games, but why not.

- Unfortunately I haven't so much time to play golf since I decided to do biathlon. I'm not the best golfer, but it's fun.

- When my rifle and skii are taking rest I like to spend time with my friends, i like to cook, to do some work in my garden or just to relax.

- We don't have any bets in our team before races.

- I think I will always do some sport in my life, but after I quit with biathlon I won't do any sport at a high level, but only for fun.

For more of Evi visit also:

26. 9. 2013

My road to Sochi: Megan Imrie "I feel faster already“

There has to be all upside down these days in Falcon Lake, Manitoba. The biathlon girl who grew on a ranch there goes for the Olympic Games. No, it wasn´t easy, just like before Vancouver Olympics four years ago.
But Megan Imrie made her dream come true again. So we talked a little bit and here´s her story.

The way to Olympics – a hard track
Some might think - you are in National Biathlon Union, you race World Cups, you are one of the bests in your country so it has to be an honor to send you to Olympic Games to make a great result for your country. No, it isn´t like that.
Maybe for the reason, biathlon is not so popular in Canada. Like Megan said:

“Hardly anyone knows about biathlon in Canada. This is also because it is not on TV here. If we had a station like Eurosport over here, I think it would drastically help our numbers. Every channel is hockey.”

So after all the difficulties, why biathlon? What is so fascinating on it? Why do not make the change and try a different sport? Or just race then for another country just like some other biathletes with the same problem do?

"Biathlon was one I'd been exposed to since I was little. It is much more exciting than just doing one event. It's so difficult to have the 'perfect race', I think that brings a big challenge. Whenever I spend too much time in the penalty loop, or when it's -30 I wish I had done something like tennis or golf. And I would only ever race for Canada." 

So Megan went on the hard track to race in Sochi for Canada without funding support. Her´s cost in (training and race fees alone) to be able to qualify for the Olympics was $10,000. Yes, the cost „was“, not the cost „is“, because great things happened.

Pre-Olympic déjà-vu
Do you remember the days before Vancouver 2010? There was the same problem with funding. Megan with her teammates did something special to get more support and to get the possibility to race at Olympics. By knowing the advertising principle “Sex sells” they made a nude calendar. Maybe you own one and you still have it on your wall, I was wondering if Canadian women´s biathlon team would do the same thing this year.  

“We won't do another calendar. Funding here must be creative and quick. After all, we are athletes and must train, not just take photos and sell calendars all year. It is really tough to do, and I don't have time for it in the Olympic year.”

Special funding. Nude calendar helped Canadian biathletes to participate at Olympic Games in Vancouver 2010

                                            Pre-Olympic projectImagination of origins of biathlon with Megan an Rosanna Crawford
So Megan chose another and really great possibility. Something new and original made her even closer to her fans and supporters than just looking at them naked from the wall. She made a right decision.

The helpfull „kick in the butt“ - Pursu.it
The micro funding platform Pursu.it became helpful for many other Canadian athletes which live their dreams. It is a vehicle offering the world of fans and supporters a personal connection to Canadian athletes on their journey to success. The project has a personalized video, fundraising target and deadline. (Megan´s campaign is over now, but you can still support her teammates Zina Kocher and Rosanna Crawford)

With each donation, Megan “give back”. You could become her pen pal, receive personalized cards, newsletter of trainings, sign skis or even you could be read on her equipment as a sponsor.

Sochi – here she comes
Megan was born on Valentine´s day and it seems she has a lot of love around her. She achieved her pursuit goal and she earned even more money than the goal was. Thanks to all her fans around the globe. But they are not just fans. From now they are also members of her team. After recovery from the injury, the best help to make her stronger and faster to achieve her Olympic goals.
“Missing the world cup races last year was what my body needed. I was too tired and sick from training that if I didn't take time off then, I wouldn't be able to train this year. Now enthusiasm of my supporters brings my game to a new level. My ambitions in Sochi? I would be satisfied with a top 15 but of course I dream of more."

From now Megan can pass her training camps with such great motivation, she knows that everything what she does has sense. Actually she moves to Le Grand Bornand in France to compete in the World Cup Stage 3. And she has a message for you:
 “Work hard and make your dreams a reality. It can and does happen!

14. 6. 2013

Behind the track: Alexia Runggaldier "I can imagine my own hand made clothing brand"

Extraordinary skilled...
Yes, I mean running and shooting as well. But there is something more about her. Can you imagine you are cheering by the track wearing the clothes branded by the nice Italian biathlon girl Alexia Runggaldier? She can. But first enjoy her extraordinary story. Exclusive talk for Biathlonum.

- Before I started doing biathlon I have beeing doing alpine skiing. Since my father brought me to try cross country skiing for the first time, everything has changed. I also tried to shoot and I really liked it so I thought why not, I can try to do biathlon! So I started with my sport when I was 12 years old and I think I chose it because I saw a challenge in it and also because we had so much fun in the team of our ski club!

- Years ago my biathlon idol was Helena Eckholm, at the moment it’s Tora Berger. She won everything the last season!

- I don’t want to be too patriotic but I think the best dream team I could form for women’s relay would be made up by Dorothea Wierer, Karin Oberhofer, Nicole Gontier and me!

- Olympic Games in Sochi - the first thing that comes to my mind is that I will be there. But I don’t want only to be there, I want to give my best in order to achieve good results. What I can expect is to give my best then we will see what comes out!

- To be honest I don’t like the tracks in Sochi so much. They are really hard and there are only up- or downhill’s. The tracks that I like and that are more appropriate for my way of skiing are those that don’t have too steep uphill’s. But I think it’s a new challenge to get better in it.

 - For sure we will change something in my preparation for the games in order to improve my skiing especially in the uphill, but we would not do something totally different.

- I made my best result in Hochfilzen, it’s one of my favourite tracks, but not the most favourite one. The places I really liked during last season was Antholz, because many people and friends came to see the races so I really enjoyed that time. And the other place was Oslo!

- When my rifle and skis are taking  a rest I do many things, I go to university and study. What I can never miss is taking a coffee with my friends and go out for some pizza and talk talk talk. I don’t see my friends so much, so it’s always a good time with them. 

- My relax days in summer are made by lying in the sun or doing different things with friends, but I prefer to stay outside enjoying the warm weather. Sometimes I go to the cottage of my parents, situated in the Dolomites, there I have time to relax and enjoy beautiful panorama! My winter relax days are made by studying or knitting. When the sun is shining bright I go out for alpine skiing or a little walk in the snow.

- I can imagine I would have my own hand made clothing brand, but I would need the help of other people, maybe my mom (she transmitted me the pleasure of knitting) and my teammates that are now really productive, because handmade things need time. The clothing brand would only include handmade bags, gloves, caps, headbands, scarfs and maybe socks if I knew how to knit them.

- Tora Berger is also good teacher, she gave me some good advices and explained me how to do it, but I had always to try it by myself. That’s the best method I think. And now I taught my teammates how to knit. 

- I wouldn’t be the model of the campaign of my brand. I would choose Ingela Andersson, the Swedish biathlete and Simon Fourcade or maybe I would think about the other faces.

Gloves made by Alexia after lessons with Tora Berger

- I don’t really like to cook myself, maybe because I don’t do it so often but I prefer to go for eat at “Mum’s restaurant”. There I get my favourite meals that always taste good. Sometimes I go out and eat in restaurants. My favourite meal is dumplings with cheese, spinach or the sweet one with nougat or apricot. It’s a typical meal in South Tirol.

- I like travelling especially in new beautiful places, but sometimes when we have to change airplane three times during one journey it’s really hard and exhausting and I can’t wait to arrive. I will visit one day for sure the United States of America, I would travel for one month there. Another destination could be the Maldives. 

- The music I generally listen to is pop, rock and techno music, especially the last singles that are available. I especially listen to it when I’m sitting in the car, there I can shout and sing and nobody hears me! When I want to have a relaxing time I listen to Italian music.

Alexia would choose for her dream relay team also Dorothea Wierer and Nicole Gontier

- My weakness is that I’m always in the action, when I don’t train I study, when I don’t study I go out with friends. There is not much time for relaxing at home. Another weakness is that I really like eating sweets and I’m really messy. 

- The most important thing in my life is my family and my friends. Without them my life would be empty. Stay with them or my teammates having a good time, or going to sleep that’s the best solution when I had a bad race or bad day.

- Strange thing has happened to me last season in Oslo, instead of doing 3 penalty loops I did only two and I got two penaltyminutes! That was very embarrassing!