Dive into the remarkable story of Tadeja Brankovič, a former biathlete turned team manager. From chasing dreams on the snow to battling life's fiercest storms. Her story is about being strong, not giving up, and having a relentless spirit. Tadeja Brankovič isn't just a former biathlete; she's a symbol of the human spirit. From the heart of Slovenia, her journey through the biathlon tracks to the world of management. The turbulent pathway of life showcases her incredible resilience. In our latest "Breaking Boundaries" feature, we unveil her story, offering hope and inspiration to every reader.
The world of biathlon is full of stories about commitment, effort, and love for the sport. In this world, some individuals stand out, not only because they're good at the sport but because they change things, break barriers, and set new standards. In our "Breaking Boundaries" series, we focus on amazing women who have made a big difference in biathlon. In this story, we talk about Tadeja Brankovič, who used to compete in the World Cup and is now a team leader for Slovenia's biathlon team. We don't just talk about her wins and achievements, but also about the many opportunities biathlon gives to females. By looking at Tadeja's story, we hope to encourage more women to join and change the world of biathlon. We really hope to see more women lead in all areas, from National Federations to Executive Boards.
Q: Tadeja, your life story is fascinating. Can you introduce us to your biathlon journey?
A: Hello. Spanning 16 memorable years, my biathlon career was filled with both triumphs and challenges. Life served up its surprises. From personal setbacks like divorce to health battles like breast cancer. Yet today, as the team manager for the Slovenian biathlon team, I find solace and purpose, giving back to a community that shaped me.
Q: What sparked your passion for biathlon?
A: Born in a charming Slovenian village, I've always been animated by movement. While cross-country skiing was my first love, the attraction of biathlon eventually won me over. My mantra was simple: succeed in every effort.
Q: How has your transition from athlete to management been?
A: The podium in Oslo remains a significant milestone in my athletic journey. However, my most cherished success was back home in Pokljuka, where I had the support of my family and friends in attendance. After retirement, I found a renewed purpose as a team manager. This role perfectly combines my academic insights with decades of on-the-ground experience.
Q: Describe your current role within the biathlon community.
A: Often referred to as the “backstage aunt”, my role is multilayered. It ranges from orchestrating logistics to development close collaborations with the IBU. Moreover, I maintain direct contact with the athletes, and they know they can approach me anytime with their concerns or needs. Each day presents a new challenge, and I genuinely thrive on it.
Q: You've faced difficult challenges off the track too. How did you overcome them?
A: Sports equipped me with a robust sense of self-belief and stubbornness. I view each life challenge as a race, with its unique starts and finishes. Despite any contrary circumstances, my philosophy remains simple: find hope, embrace gratitude, and always wear a smile.
Q: Your autobiography, "THE FIFTH OLYMPIC GAMES", is creating waves. Can you explain more about it?
A: This book is an intimate reflection of my life – crisscrossing the emotional highs and lows of my sporting career and my battle with cancer. But more than a memoir, it is a testament to the undying human spirit. Its overarching message? Life, with all its complexities, is deeply beautiful.
Q: What wisdom would you share with those facing life's hurdles?
A: Life is temporary. Embrace every moment, trust the journey, and remember: every challenge is surmountable. The direction of our life is ours to dictate.
Q: Why is female representation in biathlon management important?
A: Women bring a unique energy and perspective to any table. In biathlon, our insights and approach can create a harmonious balance with our male colleagues, promoting collective growth. We need more women at every level of the sport.
Q: Could you summarize the lessons biathlon has gifted you?
A: Biathlon was more than just a sport; it was a defining experience in my life. While I might not possess traditional medals, life has awarded me its most precious medal – the gift of living itself.
Tadeja Brankovič's tale isn't just about an athlete or a manager; it's about a human facing life head-on, with style, courage, and gratitude. As we turn the pages of her story, both in this conversation and her profound autobiography "THE FIFTH OLYMPIC GAMES", we're reminded of the beauty of resilience. Tadeja’s journey, with its countless challenges and victories, stands as a inspiration for all of us, reminding us of the strength we too possess within.
For a deeper dive into Tadeja Brankovič's transformative journey, pick up "THE FIFTH OLYMPIC GAMES" available at major bookstores and online platforms.
Pictures: Tadeja Brankovic, IBU Archive