Five Burning Questions for…Julia Simon

Julia Simon’s season has literally taken off with a bang. In the first two weekends of the new season, Simon missed just five of the one-hundred shots she fired in competition, all in standing. At this point, her prone shooting score remains a spectacular 100%. A clean-shooting Kontiolahti pursuit win, a second pursuit win and sprint third place in Hochfilzen sprint vaulted her into the Yellow Bib for the first time in her career…adding an exclamation mark this past weekend with a sterling relay anchor leg and, of course, clean shooting.

With 143 World Cup starts, Simon is no biathlon novice. The 27-year-old is the defending IBU Single Mixed Relay World Champion with Antonin Guigonnat, owns an Olympic Mixed Relay Silver medal won in Beijing last February and has 30 World Cup podiums including relays on her resume. This week, she is looking forward to competing in front of her family, friends, and her adoring French fans at the Annecy Le Grand Bornand World Cup. No one will be surprised to see her closing targets with ease and a a podium or two as early Christmas presents.

We asked Julia five questions…

Biathlonworld: You said that your improved shooting was a 2-year process, what was the hardest thing about that?

Julia Simon: The hardest thing about improving my shooting was to accept that I needed two years to become a good shooter. Especially in prone, it takes time. I had to start over with my prone shooting so it was a long time to do this. Now I am really happy because it is stable.

BW: How cool was it to shoot clean in a four-stage race? How long has that been a goal?

JS: Shooting in the Kontiolahti pursuit was just amazing. Before that, my shooting was good but always one mistake. It was a big goal for me this year, but to do this in the first World Cup checked it off my “to do” list. I am really happy to start the season like that.

BW: Did you ever expect to wear the Yellow Bib this season?

JS: Honestly, I never expected to wear the Yellow Bib this season. MY goal was to focus on shooting and be regular in the season. It is something amazing. I really enjoy it and take a lot of pleasure racing with this Bib.

BW: Thinking about Le Grand Bornand after two second places last year, would it be the best Christmas present to have a victory there this year?

JS: Of course, Le Grand Bornand was amazing with two podiums at home. It was something great. This year, I hope to be better and to have a victory. That would be the perfect Christmas present. We will see and I hope thar lots of people will come and cheer for us. My family and friends will be there so my fingers are crossed.

BW: On race days, is there something that you always do that helps you prepare mentally?

JS: I do not have a routine before a race. In the morning, I take my breakfast and go for a little walk, just thinking and to get some fresh air. After that I prepare myself for the race, but there is not anything that I do all the time.

BW: And for fun…What food from France do you miss when travelling?

JS: When I am travelling, I miss bread a lot, because it is really good in France and perfect for breakfast. Otherwise, like when we are in Italy, everything is perfect, so I do not miss anything. French bread is what I really miss when travelling.

Photos: IBU/Hendrik Osula, Jasmine Walter, Vianney Thibaut, Petr Slavik

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