"This remains one of the projects that really is closest to my heart. I want to guide and help young athletes on their way to the top of the sport - even if it is just for a short while on what is a very long road. This Camp is a reward for their results in the previous winter and motivation for upcoming challenges" - Kati Wilhelm
A total of 24 of the best young athletes (born in the year 2008) joined Wilhelm and other well-known coaches in the Thuringian Forest for three days of intense training, perfectly adjusted for the 15-year-olds to combine learning and training experience on the range with other coordination and athletic exercises.
"KatiCamp was a lot of fun and really varied. it was a great experience to train with Kati and she's a big role model. I want to try and go about my goals step by step and start at the Youth Junior World Championships and maybe in the World Cup at some point in the future." - Johanna Stichling
Of course, beyond skiing and shooting, it was just as important to learn about the intangibles of being a top athlete - in Q&A sessions with Wilhelm and her colleagues about the highs and lows of leading a professional athlete's life.
With Mark Kirchner, Jens Filbrich and Erik Lesser, who started his coaching career after his retirement, Wilhelm had an impressive line-up of fellow Olympic medalists by her side to inspire and teach the next generation.
"I'm really taking something with me in every training session. I check my vocabulary and whether I communicate the things I demand in a succinct and understandable way. I don't always use the same terms as other coaches, so sometimes you have to adjust, especially for the younger athletes." - Erik Lesser
The camp concluded with the HYLO Race - a relay competition on Sunday afternoon.
On a National Federation level, KatiCamp is set up in cooperation with German Ski Associations (DSV) and supported by the IBU Development Projects.
Photo: Kati Wilhelm by fotofactory