Jules Burnotte (CAN), Grete Gaim (EST), Adam Runnalls (CAN), Mirlene Picin (BRA), Alla Ghilenko (MLD), Anika Kozica (CRO), Thierry Langer (BEL) and Isabella Moon (AUS) are the first Athlete Ambassadors for Sustainability - find out why they joined the Ambassador Programme and what they hope to achieve in their new roles:
JULES BURNOTTE, TEAM CANADA
"Biathlon is where I am now, it is my world and I want to take care of it. By joining as a Sustainability Ambassador, I feel like I am taking care of the IBU itself and everything, everyone that is connected to the IBU, myself included. By joining, I feel like I am doing what is right for myself and what is around me."
"The IBU having a great audience and many partners, I hope we will be able to have a reflection on how to build partnerships in a world that is expected to change. I hope the partners and the audience will join us in this reflection but also in the steps that we will have to take after!"
ALLA GHILENKO, TEAM MOLDOVA
"l wanted to become a Sustainability Ambassador because I want biathlon to be one of the leading sports in the world, leading by example how to develop in a stable way and fight for the protection fo the ecosystem."
"I hope l will get a lot of new knowledge and acquaintances which will help me be useful not only as an athlete but also as a person who develops our sport. From my own experience as an athlete of a big national federation (Ukraine), and smaller federation (Moldova), l know there are many differences and problems which can be solved to improve and develop our sport."
ANIKA KOZICA, TEAM CROATIA
"The reason I decided to become a Sustainability Ambassador is because it is often easy to criticise, but it is much harder to try to come up with solutions and I think it's our responsibility as athletes to at least try to help bring solutions together with the IBU. Another reason is that I feel in my country there is not enough awareness in regards to climate change and sustainability in general and since winter sports are not so popular, most people don't experience the problems we are facing with global warming and lack of snow."
"Problems surrounding climate can seem overwhelming sometimes, but I want to show that if we all start to make even small changes in our everyday lives we can make a big impact."
THIERRY LANGER, TEAM BELGIUM
"Already during my chemistry studies, I was interested in environmental chemistry and the responsible use of resources. So I am interested in this topic on principle and I see the possibility of the biathlon family to become a leading figure in sport."
"I hope we can lead all the athletes, teams, and the public in becoming role models in sport events. This means setting new standards in the responsible use of resources for the world cup so that we can continue to practice the sport we love for a long time to come."
ISABELLA MOON, TEAM AUSTRALIA
"I wanted to become a sustainability athlete ambassador because I am highly passionate about the sustainability of biathlon. This opportunity provides a leadership position where I am able to address issues such as climate change, hear from other athlete ambassadors, and encourage people from within Australia and the wider sporting community, to take action and ensure that Biathlon is a sport that continues to be enjoyed for a long time in the future."
"Through being a sustainability athlete ambassador, I hope to further understand issues of sustainability in Biathlon, to educate other athletes and fans about these issues, and to empower people to take action and create positive changes to protect the sport of Biathlon."
ADAM RUNNALLS, TEAM CANADA
"I wanted to become a sustainability ambassador because I saw it as an opportunity to work to make a real difference. In the past, I have been passionate about doing my part to reduce my impact on climate but struggled to find something more. When I heard about this ambassador program I saw my chance to finally get to do some more meaningful work!
"As a Sustainability Ambassador, I am not looking to achieve anything specific. I am looking forward to working with the IBU and the hosting committees to see where the best work can be done and to capitalize on the best possible opportunities. I have ideas that I want to bring forward but I am excited to do whatever I can to help and make positive change in the best way possible."
MIRLENE PICIN, TEAM BRAZIL
"For me, it was never just about sports, about starts and finishes, but what I could do for myself and others through sport. I want to use my image, my voice and the life model of an endurance athlete linked to nature to inspire and motivate groups and people, in search of their goals, ideas and a better world to live in. taking care of our home, our planet. With a reforestation project in Brazil, since 2015, I hope to plant my seed to the future."
"I want to draw people's attention to caring for the environment and nature. First from the athletes, then from the fans of the sport, and later from outdoor physical activity enthusiasts. And little by little, from the whole society, with special attention to children, who will form future generations"
GRETE GAIM, TEAM ESTONIA
"I'd like to be a role model to younger or other athletes with the things I do and think. I'd like it if people could learn from others' mistakes, not always on their own. To help people, educate myself, have fun. Biathlon is my life and I have always wished to be more connected with it than just being an athlete myself. Let's aim for more sustainability - and let's have fun on the journey!"