Head 2 Head
Tiril Eckhoff is the latest in a long line of outstanding female biathletes from Norway. Eckhoff was dubbed Norway’s “Golden Girl” as she climbed the podium in a brilliant gold jacket after winning the 2016 IBU World Championships Sprint in her home stadium at Oslo. She collected a second Gold medal (and jacket) with a clean-shooting third leg in the women’s relay victory later that week. Eckhoff’s victory was her first podium of the season and vindication for those who doubted her chances for a medal. A promising junior biathlete who never won a medal at the IBU YJWCH, Eckhoff came into prominence in the 2013-14 Olympic season. Prior to the Olympic Winter Games, she had her first-ever podium with third place in the pursuit at Annecy Le Grand Bornand plus a couple of tantalizing fourth place results. In Sochi, she came into her own as a future star, with a mixed relay Gold medal and Bronze in the women’s relay; all capped off with an unexpected Bronze in the mass start, behind Darya Domracheva and Gabriela Koukalová. She ended that season with a personal best seventh place in the World Cup Total Score. Between that and her win in Oslo, she gained her first World Cup victory in the 2014 season-opening sprint at Östersund. The 28-year-old has always been fast on the tracks, but at times struggled to have consistent shooting. Intensive work on the shooting range prior to Oslo 2016 gave her the confidence to shoot clean in both the sprint and relay.
Even after her achievements in Oslo, Eckhoff's struggles on the shooting range continued, yet late in the 2016-17 season, she rounded into form, winning the Kontiolahti sprint and the season-ending mass start on her home ground at Holmenkollen, missing just a single shot in those two wins. The 2017-18 Olympic season was typical Eckhoff, having her best days approaching and on the sport's biggest stage. She preluded the Pyeongchang OWG with a clean-shooting Antholz sprint win and fourth in the pursuit. At Pyeongchang as in Sochi, she came home with two medals, Bronze in the mass start and a Silver Medal in the mixed relay.
Eckhoff has turned her passion for knitting into a cooperative design venture with Sandnes Garn, producing wool sweaters and dresses for the retail market.
Thoughts after Becoming World Champion
“It was very emotional. I cried with my family; my mother, brother and father were there; it was great!”
“I knew I had the fast skiing inside of me. But the clean shooting; I worked so hard to manage it and today I managed it.
“I understand why my brother was jumping up and down. We worked so hard for this. It was family joy!”
“I win World Champs on my home track. This is where I won my first race when I was 6 years old; I won a small gift and was so happy. Today I am almost as happy as I was when I was a young kid!