Nadezhda Skardino has been on the Belarusian team since the 2004-05 season when she first competed in the Junior European Championships. In the 2006-07 season, she moved to the World Cup circuit. She has won medals and been on the podium in the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships, IBU Open European Championships, BMW IBU World Cup, IBU World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games. The highlight of her career to date was her Bronze medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in the 15K individual. In that competition, she shot clean and then shared the podium with her friend and teammate Darya Domracheva who won the Gold medal. Skardino, the leadoff leg for the Belarusian relay team has consistently been among the top 20 women in the world for the past 5 seasons. In that time, Skardino has been on the podium in individual competitions on five occasions. The St. Petersburg, Russia native, one of the most accurate shots on the women’s circuit had to make huge changes in her shooting after the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Due to an eye condition, she had to change from shooting her right eye to the left. Without becoming a left-handed shot, a custom rifle stock (one of the most unique in biathlon) was created for her that moved her rifle barrel/sights to the left side. Skardino, known for her big smile, splits her life between “my family and siblings in St. Petersburg and my sports/biathlon family in Minsk.” She loves to knit, read and watch beach volleyball in her spare time.
Nadi’s words to live by: “Every Dream gives you the strength to fulfill it.”
What do you remember about your first biathlon competition?
In my first World Cup, I was very worried and forgot to take my rifle to the start. Luckily, the referee at the start reminded me about my rifle. I started with my rifle for sure!
When did you realize that you could be good at this sport?
The first time that I shot, I liked it very much. At that point, I realized that I might be good.
What is your routine to get ready on race day; is it always the same?
Often, it the same routine: warm up, breakfast, short cross running and stretching, and little bit of relaxation; maybe listen to music, read a book or knitting. Then a snack and go to the stadium for the start!
Given the option, would you rather run, rollerski, cycle…or?
I like cycling and walking with poles in the mountains. But, of course we need all the options for good training.
What do you do very well?
I don’t know; I am very critical of myself, but maybe I do smile well!
Describe a perfect day off from training or competition?
I like walking around the city when we live; maybe a little shopping, watch a movie, and talk with my family.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If you think you will lose; you lose 100% of the time! If you think you will win; you win at least half of the time!
In a city, on the beach or in the mountains on your perfect holiday; any place special that you love?
In summer I like to relax on a beach; in winter on a mountain! My most beloved place is my home, Sestroretsk. It is a small city not far from St-Petersburg, but it is near the Gulf of Finland. Near my home I have a long, wide sand beach; in winter, when the Gulf freezes, it becomes a big endless ski track!