Sunday Funday with… Marie-Laure Brunet
Two-time Olympic medalist and IBU World Champion Marie Laure Brunet and her Norwegian counterpart Olympic Gold medalist and IBU World Champion Tora Berger share a common belief about success.
At the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Berger said, during the Chat with a Champion, “Have fun! Sure, you have to train and to work hard, but if you want to become the best, you have to have good motivation and have fun. To have fun is the most important thing!”
Proving that adage, Brunet, also sure that there always should be time for fun and positive moments, shared her special story from 2013.
“It was at the World Cup in Oestersund on November 25th, which was the Saint Catherine's Day, also known as "Catherinettes" day! This French custom aims at celebrating women who reach the age of 25 and are not married. That year we had two girls on the team, Marine Bolliet and me.
Our teammates wanted it to be very fun, so beforehand they made ridiculous hats with many weird accessories for us. After that, they asked Marine and me to make cookies and sell them at the biathlon stadium in order to buy drinks with the money. Marie Dorin Habert recorded our raids in the wax cabins to get reactions from the ski technicians and wax men of different nations.
I must confess that Ole Einar was our most generous customer, he paid 50€ for a cookie! But we received not only money; we were also given drinks at the Russian’s truck and some other trinkets. Nevertheless, what I remember the most from that day and what was the most important: laughs with friends and just a good way to unwind before the race. It was also a very friendly moment which we shared with the wax technicians and the staff from various nations.”
Eight Straight Podiums
By 2013, Brunet was already a successful and titled athlete, who made her international debut in December 2004 at European Cup 3 in Obertilliach, less than a month after turning 16. At the 2007 IBU YJWCH in Martell, Marie-Laure won a Bronze medal in the individual, plus two Gold medals in pursuit and relay, all in the youth category. Those awards gave her great motivation and confidence: in the following seven junior competitions at three European Cups, she stood at the podium 6 times, including two top spots!
Her first World Cup appearance was in the 15K individual in November 2007 at Kontiolahti, and in the same season, she took her first senior WCH medal in Östersund, a Bronze in women’s relay. Two years later, in 2010, Brunet headed to her first OWG at Vancouver. In the sprint, despite clean shooting, she finished 6th, but the same perfect accuracy allowed her to move to the third place in the pursuit, bringing Brunet an individual Olympic Bronze medal at the age of 21! Moreover, in a week, she held one more Olympic medal in her hand, this time Silver, which the French team won in the women’s relay.
With the total of 2 Olympic, 9 WCH and 22 WC medals in the case, Brunet finished her career in 2014.
Photos: IBU archive, Marie-Laure Brunet