As a winner of the IBU Cup Total Score for the 2020/2021 season, Vanessa Voigt joined the world cup German team last summer and challenged herself from day one. With stealth determination combined with a natural feel for shooting, she edged closer to the very best with each passing week and got rewarded with a start in the relay team in Beijing 2022 and a bronze medal. A career-first podium in Otepaeae further elevated her self-confidence, a very welcome boost as she prepares for the new season with the IBU World Championships in Oberhof as a highlight.
How did you approach your first summer with the German world cup team?
As somebody who is used to working very hard every day, not much has changed. I was, of course, challenged by keeping up with world-class athletes on our team, but that only gave me more motivation. My goals were set firm before the start of the season. I was relieved and very content when our coaches nominated me for the World Cup start.
What was the biggest challenge?
I would say a new coaching team and new philosophy that came with that. I have spent more time in Ruhpolding than in previous years and had more training units per day than in the past. These are substantial changes for an athlete.
What improvements have you managed in the first two trimesters to qualify for the German Olympic team?
Beijing 2022 was not my main goal for the season. The most important thing for me was to be a member of the German world cup team. So I went from week to week, working hard and striving for incremental improvements.
You opened the Beijing 2022 Games with a disappointing shooting performance in the Mixed relay, way below your world-beating standards. How did you regroup after that, as Beijing 2022 proved a big success?
I analyzed the race for myself. I talked extensively with my coaches, physiotherapists, and teammates. I decided to concentrate on my strengths. I also largely ignored my mobile phone as I didn't want unnecessary distractions.
In the individual, you showed a new level of ski speed which you carried until the end of the Beijing 2022 Games and into Trimester 3. Was it a surprise for you?
The speed came from training a lot. I also think that plenty of the high attitude training helped. I knew it was coming. I just didn't know when.
You won a bronze medal in the women's relay in Beijing. Has that changed your biathlon ambitions?
I set my goals for the upcoming season with greater confidence. After the second place in the sprint of Otepaeae, I want to win the BMW IBU World Cup. I want to be atop the podium. I know that is possible now.