Mirlene Picin Mika: Biathlete ... and Environmentalist

Mirlene Picin Mika: Biathlete ... and Environmentalist

Numerous biathletes and their different hobbies ranging from bee-keeping to designing and languages have been featured this summer. Many biathlete's free-time activities in their are as diverse and varied as the countries they hail from. More often than not, the projects they are passionate about are linked to their country's heritage. Meet Mirlene Picin Mika, whose enthusiasm for the environment is deeply rooted to her home country Brazil - quite literally.

Mirlene Picin Mika: Biathlete ... and Environmentalist

Snow: Love at First Sight

The 37-year-old started in biathlon almost ten years ago; the sport found her rather than the other way around. Originally intending to pursue speed-skating, Mika switched to biathlon, which provided her with better training opportunities.

"I just saw the snow the first time in my life when I was 27 years old in Ushuaia (Argentina). It was in love at first sight!" the Brazilian explained.
"Then the next year I started training for biathlon, at that moment ,a totally unknown sport to me. Just 4 or 5 years later, I started to see some races cancelled, in South America and in Europe, too."_

As a result, Mika started getting more interested in environmental causes, as well as climate change and how it affects both the sport and the planet on a bigger scale.

"The changes of our planet [due to climate change] can be drastic according to some predictions and might change the main source of our sport, the snow. Truly, it is very important to everyone's life. I am passionate about this sport and I want to see biathlon being practiced on the snow for many, many years."

Green Podium Grows New Trees

With a keen interest to do her part in protecting the environment, the Brazilian biathlete a few years ago, approached the company, VISAFERTIL from her hometown, Mogi Mirim. Her suggestion to plant trees whenever she reached the podium in any event that she competed in, went down well with the president and the company.

Mirlene Picin Mika: Biathlete ... and Environmentalist

Since 2015, Mika and VISAFERTIL have been planting trees for each of the Brazilian's Top 5 finishes in biathlon, cross-country skiing, running and trail running:

1st place - 25 trees
2nd place - 20 trees
3rd place - 15 trees
4th place - 10 trees
5th place - 5 trees

Over 600 trees have been planted across Mirlene's hometown and Sao Benedito Novo in Santa Caterina, thanks to her results in various sports.

“We planted different kinds of trees, but special "Palmito Jussara" and "Canela Sassafras" Brazilian natives trees. We add the trees throughout the year and they are planted in the months of November of December, the rainy season in Brazil which is good for the development of plants.”

Picin Mika keeps continues to represent her Green Podium at many different events across the globe. Whether it is in the south African ultra-marathon  Comrades Run (90km) or the Sun Valley, Idaho Half -Marathon where she finished 2nd this year - the talented mutli-sport competitor maintains it’s not just "her" project, it’s something everyone is welcome to contribute to.

Mirlene Picin Mika: Biathlete ... and Environmentalist

“I am only one person, doing very little to try to help the planet, but if each of us become a part, in the end, it will be a good for all humanity.”

Find out more information on Mirlene Picin Mika and her Green Podium project on her Instagram account or the Green Podium Facebook Page.