Five Burning Questions for Lou Jeanmonnot

The last month has been pretty special for Lou Jeanmonnot, but if you step back, it is actually the last year that is special. The 24-year-old rising French star won the 2022 IBU Cup Women’s Total Score as well as the Super Sprint Score, in a season where she shot clean nine times! In the past month, she ran the first leg on the winning women’s relay at Hochfilzen, and was in her first World Cup Flower Ceremony after a mass start sixth place in her home Annecy Le Grand Bornand World Cup in front of family and friends. The string continued with second in the Pokljuka single mixed relay last week, culminating this past week in Ruhpolding with her first-ever clean shooting 15 km individual and a career best second place, one spot ahead of her Yellow-Bib wearing teammate Julia Simon.

After another 10-for-10 in the Ruhpolding relay, Jeanmonnot answered our five burning questions…and in a sixth, revealed her hidden talent!

Biathlonworld: After winning last year’s IBU Cup Total Score, did you feel like you were finally ready for the World Cup or did you have some doubts?

Lou Jeanmonnot: I still had many doubts at the season’s beginning. I knew that my ski time had to be improved and I didn’t how much time I gained during the summer prep. I didn’t imagine I was ready to fight for an individual podium!

BW: Shooting is obviously your strong point; when did you realize you were so good on the range or did it take a lot of work and years to excel?

LJ: I think I knew that really early. Shooting has been my strong point since my first biathlon race, so I worked on and it became better and better.

BW: How hard has it been to adjust to the huge, screaming crowds on the World Cup circuit after the low-key IBU Cups?

LJ: Before Le Grand Bornand I was a bit scared about that, but finally it didn’t scared me that much. I think being focused on my race really helped. Although the sound was literally always high during the race, I finally got used to it, very quickly. And…I suppose my hearing sensations are a bit numb during races!

BW: Your parents were in the tribunes in Le Grand Bornand and here in Ruhpolding, what was their reaction when you saw them after your second place?

LJ: My sister told me everyone was crying in Le Grand Bornand. In Ruhpolding my aunt and uncles told me that, of course they were crying. This also caused some of the German women around them to cry to make cry… of course, they were happy tears!

BW: What were your goals before this season; have you already exceeded them or is there another big one you would like to reach?

LJ: I remember having said that my goal was to go into Oberhof as a main athlete, go to the Flower Ceremony regularly, and be a part of the relays! Now that I realised that I am able to do that, and even get on podiums, I will try my best to do it again in the World Championships and bring back a medal too.

BW: Bonus round: What is your secret talent?

LJ: I’m really talented at being late and clumsy in my everyday life!

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Igor Stančík Harald Deubert

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