Five Burning Questions for Ida Lien

Ida Lien made her World Cup debut at Nove Mesto na Morave in 2020, just days after winning IBU OECH Sprint Silver and Mixed Relay Bronze medals in Minsk. From that point, the 26-year-old was solidly on the Norwegian World Cup squad, winning IBU WCH Women’s Relay Gold in 2021. When the 2023/24 season opened, Lien was relegated the IBU Cup circuit, racking up five individual podiums including a sprint win. She returned to the top circuit ironically for NMNM 2024,but struggled on the range. Last week, Lien’s world righted itself with her first BMW IBU World Cup individual podium, a 19-for-20 third place in the Women’s 15 km Individual at home in the Holmenkollen Ski stadium.

As Lien packed up for the long trip to Soldier Hollow and Canmore, she answered Five Burning Questions about her career rebound and a Bonus about her biathlon roots.

Biathlonworld: After several years in the World Cup with a bunch of relay podiums, what was it like to start the season in the IBU Cup?

Ida Lien: This season actually started in the Norwegian Cup as I had struggled with a back injury since summer and Covid in October. It was a hard fight to get back in shape and then to get back in the IBU Cup and eventually back in the World Cup.

BW: What did you learn about yourself in the first 2/3 of the season there?

IL: I think I learned that anything is possible if you just work hard and believe in yourself.

BW: How hard was it dealing with less than hoped for results in NMNM?

IL: The IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto did not go the way I, or the rest of the team was hoping for. It is tough when you don’t meet the expectations from yourself and others. You can do a lot of good things in a race but in biathlon you need all the components to match to get a good result. Although the results weren’t as I expected I still remind myself of the situation I had in Oktober, so I’m really proud of the journey that got me into the World Championships.

BW: What was different in the 15 km, compared to your previous 73 World Cup starts?

IL: I’m not sure. As in life in general, I think biathlon is about learning from previous experiences. So, I think I was more prepared than before.

BW: Being on the podium at Holmenkollen, is that a dream that you have always carried in the back of your mind and what was it like to finally be up there, especially alongside Ingrid?

IL: I have always been dreaming of a podium in the World Cup and especially in front of a home crowd in Holmenkollen. To be on the podium alongside Ingrid was super fun and I hope I will do it again soon.

Biathlonworld Bonus: What was your first biathlon experience as a child, was it a big success or something else?

IL: My first experience with biathlon or the first time I tried biathlon was when I was very little. I think I was about 2 or 3 years old. I don’t remember how it went but I really wanted to become a biathlete after that!

It has been a long trip from toddler biathlete to the World Cup podium for Ida Lien, but now that she is healthy and confident, there are likely more podiums on the Horizon.

Photos: IBU/Dmytro Yevenko, Igor Stancik, Christian Manzoni. Ida Lien

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