Five Burning Questions for Peppe Femling

Sweden’s Peppe Femling was in the small group of biathletes leaving the sport when the season closed in Canmore. Although not a household name, Femling stands out not because of individual results, although he did win IBU SBWCH Sprint and Super Sprint medals, but as a reliable relay leadoff leg. Kicking off Sweden’s 2018 Olympic Gold medal-winning Men’s Relay team is his most notable success. However, he was also the first leg in three World Cup Relay wins, also winning Silver and Bronze IBU World Championships Men’s Relay medals in an international career that started at the 2010 IBU YJWCH in Torsby, Sweden. Femling has one additional impressive achievement in his career: overcoming a devastating injury. Six months after his Olympic Gold medal, Femling, to avoid being hit by a car while warming up for a rollerski race, he fell into a ditch driving a ski pole completely through his calf muscle. A hospital operation that day removed the pole; eight days later, he was back training, and competed in the World Cup for six more seasons. And that is the rest of the story!

After two afternoons of retirement celebrations in Canmore, Femling answered Five Burning Questions about ending his career and one more about what he will do this summer instead of training.

Biathlonworld: How tough was it in the last loop of the pursuit, knowing it was your last World Cup competition?

Peppe Femling: I think "tough" is the wrong word but yes it was a lot of different feelings, little sad of course but also joy when I saw my teammates waiting for me in the finish area.

BW: When you started this journey, did you ever think you would win an Olympic Gold medal, World Championships medals and get numerous World Cup relay podiums?

PF: As a kid it was easy to say that I wanted to be the best in the world and win Gold medals. As I got older and realised how hard that is, it was much harder to believe that I could do it. I’m very happy and proud of the medals I won.

BW: Aside from the medals, what will you always remember about your time in biathlon?

PF: I will always remember the great team spirit we had and all the nice countries and places I have been able to visit.

BW: What made you decide it was time to move on from biathlon?

PF: It has been a long journey but after the 21/22 season I started to think and realised that there is a life after biathlon. I have really enjoyed my life as an athlete but now the last month, especially I got the real feeling that I’m done. I have done my very best and I’m now looking forward to what’s next.

BW: What will you miss the most about being a professional biathlete?

PF: I will miss the lifestyle as an athlete where you many times can decide over your time. Of course, I will also miss being away and competing as a team.

Biathlonworld Bonus: What do you plan to be doing when the team is out training next summer; is there a new adventure out there or a trophy fish waiting for you?

PF: I will probably spend a lot of time on the golf course and in the mountains, probably also renovating our house. After the summer I will go back to reality and start studying.

It is always a mixed bag of emotions when an athlete retires: sadness when the moment arrives but happiness over a successful career with new challenges to come. The Biathlon Family congratulates Peppe Femling and all the other 2024 retirees on their careers and wishes them all the best in the future.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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