Five Burning Questions for Sophie Chauveau

Last week’s Oberhof competitions brought Sophie Chauveau memories that will live for a lifetime. Just over a year after her initial World Cup breakthrough 4th place in the Annecy Le Grand Bornand sprint, she battled to her first-ever BMW IBU World Cup podium placing third in the Oberhof Sprint. Topping off the weekend, she stood atop the podium with her teammates after running the third leg on the winning women’s relay team.

As Sophie and her teammates prepared to head south to Ruhpolding, we asked her five burning questions and a bonus about what she misses about home.

Biathlonworld: Was your third place in the sprint a surprise, or did you feel it was close after the Lenzerheide mass start?

Sophie Chauveau: I felt since the beginning of the season that I was close to doing a really good result because in nearly all the sprints this season, before the standing shooting I am always in the top 5/6. But then the result in standing is finally not enough for stay in there. So yeah, it was a surprise and also not really because I knew that when I shoot well I can stand in the podium. But I would have never thought this would happen now.

BW: Have you been dreaming of a World Cup podium since last year in Le Grand Bornand last year or has that been a goal since childhood?

SC: I definitely dreamt of a World Cup podium since childhood, especially when I was watching the French team live at the Le Grand Bornand World Cup in 2013. But after last year at home when this dream almost came true, my dream became stronger and I was motivated for make it real.

BW: Did you do anything special over the Christmas break that refreshed and reset you for the rest of the season?

SC: Actually, when I went back home after Lenzerheide, It was important for me to just let biathlon away for two or three days and just enjoy a normal life and preparation for Christmas. I spent a lot of time with my friends and my family. They came with me during training which finally didn’t feel like training because it was more fun. Of course, after few days I was motivated to work on improving my shooting. I wanted to find solutions to the problem I had in standing in the beginning of the season. So, I trained alone, which was really nice because I could totally focus on my work and on myself. This gave me great confidence.

BW: You competed in the IBU World Championships in Oberhof last winter, was that experience helpful this week?

SC: I definitely think my experience last year during the IBU World Championships was helpful this week. I just had wonderful memories with the surprising extra quota start and my Top 10 in the pursuit last year. I was looking forward to come back here and live again this amazing atmosphere.

BW: What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your time on the World Cup circuit?

SC: I would say that the biggest lesson I’ve learned in the World Cup circuit is to believe in myself and what I can do. It’s not always easy as an athlete because sport is hard. It can work sometimes and sometimes not, but you always have to be proud of what you are doing.

Biathlonworld Bonus: What are the three things that you miss the most about home during the season?

SC: That an easy question! 😂 The three things I miss the most are my family and friends, choosing the food I want to eat for lunch and dinner 😂 and I also miss my place, the mountains, the view …

Next up: Ruhpolding, more podium opportunities and just for Sophie, the nice mountain scenery.

Photos: IBU/Jaroslav Svoboda, Nordic Focus

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