Five burning questions for . . . Julia Simon

It took Julia Simon two seasons to process and apply the teachings of French shooting coach Jean-Paul Giachino. Trusting her preparation protocol on the shooting range, impeccably physically prepared, and thus powerful on the skis, Simon took the Yellow bib as the BMW IBU World Cup Total Score leader after the Sprint Hochfilzen in never looked back.

What needs to come together to win the Total Score?

[Laughs] A lot of things: precise shooting, good shape, and don't be sick during the winter - or at least not too long. A lot of stuff is indeed essential: having a great team around you and knowing you can always count on well-prepared skis. It's a lot of factors.

What did Lisa Vittozzi tell you when it was clear that you won yesterday?

She congratulated me and said that I deserved the Crystal globe. It was so lovely of her to tell me that. We have known each other for a long time. I was really delighted that she was there. It is always a good feeling to have friends around you.

How did you manage the extreme focus - it's been four months - it's a long time to keep this focus?

I tried to focus race after race and think about my biathlon and the next race and not about the Total Score. The most important thing was to try my best in the shooting range and be really focused. I'm very content with my much improved prone shooting accuracy.

How did you balance two big goals: to aim for World Cup Total Score and perform strongly at the World Championships?

Before the season, I just wanted to be more consistent. I wasn't losing too many thoughts to the Total Score. It was just something so nice to wear this yellow bib. I took the season one day at a time and strived to be the best I could be on any given day. The World Championships were also really important, but I came to Oberhof with this yellow bib and a lot of pressure. It was a new situation for me, not the easiest. The Gold medal in the Pursuit means the world to me! It is my first ever in individual competitions at primary events. After Oberhof, I channeled all my energy into keeping the Yellow bib and winning the Total Score.

Header iconFive burning questions . . . Julia Simon

Who will you celebrate with outside the biathlon family?

When I come home, of course with my family, my friends. We are going to have a good party! I need to see my friends and after all these C-19 years, I really need to see family and friends and enjoy the time with them. I think in my ski area in Les Saisies it's going to be very nice. It's going to be on the 9th of April.

And a bonus question: Will you ask Quentin how to handle the post-season media madness?

I think it was something more for Quentin because there was also the Olympics. I need to learn about his experiences because it's never easy to remain on the highest level after such a high-achieving season as Quentin's in 2021/2022. I also want to be me and try to do my stuff. I sense I need time for myself and maybe rest a little more after the season. I will return to training when I'm ready, especially in my mind.

Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni, I. Stančik,

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