With two big Crystal globes in her lap, ten world championships, and three Olympic medals around her neck, Dorothea Wierer's career ranks among the grandest in biathlon's history. The charismatic Italian, who always found interests outside of sport, nevertheless decided to continue in biathlon for (at least) one more season. The main reason? She wants more success.
When did you decide to continue in the world cup for at least another year? When winter finished, I sat down with my coaches, husband, and family and listened to their thoughts. That helped me make my mind up. The final call came from me because, in the end, it is me who needs to put in the hours of practice and the required mental energy for the competitions. But I wanted to have feedback from my coaches too. I wanted to know if they honestly thought I still had it in me to get good results. On the other hand, my parents hoped I would quit, as they saw that I am often stressed and almost always on the road.
Which is the harshest part of biathlon? What makes you want to stop (at times)? The most demanding part for me is that I have very little time for myself and few days to rest and get my head off from the sport.
And which is the best part of biathlon? What keeps you going? The motivation is there to get more good results. That is the main drive. I love when things go well, obviously. But I am also aware that all athletes go through highs and lows, so one has to stay positive and believe in their chances.
Has your summer training changed with years from quantity to a more focused and perhaps less time-consuming routine? My summer training has always looked quite similar in the past. But I think this year, I will be focusing on the quality rather than the quantity, especially given that my rest days are always few due to other commitments. Compared to other years, this year I am starting my preparations two weeks later than usual. I literally did not do anything between Oslo and 15 May. So, it was frankly hard to get going again! Fortunately, there are still many months before the new season starts, and I know there is no point in being in top shape during the summer, so I need to focus on getting there at the right time!"
What did the Olympic medal trigger in you? 7 Did it fulfil you as an athlete? "The medal in Beijing was an amazing moment, but it is not something I think of anymore. It is part of the past, and it was a very demanding season. I felt so much pressure, and I am really pleased and proud that I managed to win that medal".
With a career as wonderfully ‘rounded’ as yours - Total Score Winner (twice), multiple World Champion, Olympic medalist; what would you still like to achieve? I know that the quality of the field is really high, and there are so many strong girls, so it will not be easy. But my goal is to be on the podium a few times in the season. I know it takes almost a perfect day and race for me to do so when both skiing and shooting click. Sadly, I had some health issues at the start of the last season. I hope that will not be the case again in 2022/2023. Then, for sure, the main event will be the IBU World Championships in Oberhof. It is not a secret that it is not one of my favourite places, but I have had good results there. I am keeping my hopes up for some more success in Oberhof!.
Is Cortina - Milano 2026 somewhere hidden in your mind? Every athlete dreams of having the Olympic Games on home soil. It would be awesome. But one has also to be realistic, and four years is a crazy long span for an athlete. I do not know if my body and mind allow me to get there while being still competitive. Outside of sports, I want to pursue some other life goals. It is also good that many strong youngsters are breaking through behind me. They are highly motivated and can do well in 2026. So, Cortina-Milano is currently not on my mind. I do not see the point in it.