27. 3. 2014

Behind the track: Anja Eržen "I just want to enjoy my life"

The newcomer...
...but with many experiences. She was only 17 when she did some races at her first Olympic Games in Vancouver. 
So what´s new on her? Former cross-country skier now carries a rifle on her back in her first World Cup season. Following her dream. Being a part of strong Slovenian team. Maybe you will meet her in your country, because she loves travelling. Now you can meet her in our talk. Anja Eržen exclusively for Biathlonum. For you.

- It all started when I was in 3th grade and our school took us on winter vacation to Planica, where we were spending a lot of time in the nature and also learning some cross-country skiing. I was really good at it and my uncle was/is a biathlete, so this sport was always close to me.

- When I was a child I wanted to be a biathlete. My uncle was really good at the time and I wanted to be just like him. But cross-country skiing sort of pulled me in and I was a very good classic skier. It took some time for me to realize that I should follow my childhood-dreams.

- There are no regrets at all that I change cross-country skiing for biathlon. I sort of lost my motivation in cross-country skiing in last few years and there were a lot of skiers who decided to end their careers. I didn’t want to become one of them. I put too much effort and time in this sport and I didn’t want to throw it all away.

Source: www.biathlon-pokljuka.com

- I couldn’t be happier that I became a biathlete. But I didn’t make my decision because of my family. I actually hated it when they were constantly bothering me with biathlon, especially my grand-parents. I wanted to make my own decisions.

- I wasn’t really sad about not participating at the Olympics in Sochi. I was sad that I couldn’t be with my team. In Vancouver I was 17 years old and it was my job to get some experiences. At the next Olympics I want to do some results, not to be just a ‘’tourist’’. But I did watch the Games, cheer for our athletes and bit my nails.

- I always liked hard tracks with uphills more. In biathlon of course, because it’s my first year, I prefer prone shooting because it’s easier but it’s my plan to change that to liking both.

- I love Hochfilzen, I like the tracks and the atmosphere but the uphill before the shooting was a little bit too much for me in the first season. I also like to compete in Oslo, I love the landscape and I did some pretty good results there as a cross-country skier at the World Championship in 2011. And of course it’s fun to race at home, so Pokljuka would also be one of my favourite stadiums.

 - Some wind and cold temperatures on the day of the race could make me a little bit moody but as soon as I stand at the start-line those feelings go away. I also like to listen to some good music and enjoy some time with teammates whose amazing results give me a lot of motivation.

- I didn’t expect to start World Cup in this season at all so I was pretty happy about competing on all stadiums. I was also satisfied with my participation in pursuit. Unfortunately right before the Olympics I got a virus, which took me 2 months to get rid of. So my goals for the season 2014/15 would be: stay healthy, shoot better and faster and be more competitive in skiing.

Enjoying Oslo city during last World Cup 2013/2014
- I haven’t really made plans for vacation yet. First I need to have a small procedure in a hospital, where I will stay for about 1 week. Then I’ll take some time for my family, friends and school and after… Well, we’ll see. I was thinking about going to London or Prague. In my future I would also like to visit America, Thailand, Australia… Hmm, there are many places I would like to go to one day.

- Being only the ordinary fan of biathlon I would cheer for Slovenian team, all of them of course and also for some biathletes from other countries. My family and my friends have always been my biggest support and I am thanking them for that.

 - If I would choose idols in sport, they would be my uncle Janez Marič, Teja Gregorin and Jakov Fak. Otherwise my mom is really the person who I respect and look up to. She is an amazing hard-working woman, great mother and my best friend.

 - I haven’t had any funny moments during my short biathlon career in the competitions, thank god, but I did have some on trainings. I was shooting Klemen Bauer’s targets.

Team Slovenia: Teja Gregorin, Klemen Bauer, Anja Erzen, Jakov Fak, Simon Kocevar and Janez Maric.

 - When my skis and rifle are taking a break, I try to sleep as long as I can in the mornings but it doesn’t really work out for me. Then I make some good coffee and breakfast and read some newspaper. After that I take my dog out and go to my grand-father’s house for some chat and more coffee. In the afternoon I like to spend some time with my friends in Bled. In the evenings it’s usually time for a good movie. I also like to take some trips, they could be to Ljubljana to see an improvisation-show or to mountains to do some backcountry skiing. It depends on the weather and my mood.

 - I do knit a lot during the winter season, it relaxes me. This year I had a lot of work with teaching Teja and Andreja. It was fun, they are very good students. Together with my friend from cross-country skiing we were thinking also about our own handmade clothing brand. But it would take a lot of time, which I don’t really have, to make it happen.

- If I could bake something special for my fans, I would probably use my grand-father’s recipe for walnut-brownie. It’s really good and it succeeds every time.

- I definitely want to achieve good results in biathlon, that’s my first priority right now. I also want to graduate, do some travelling, have family and a good career after the sport. To make it simple: I just want to enjoy my life.

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