When asked to reminisce about junior years, a funny story comes up to her mind. “It was only my third international competition in Pokljuka. I started from the last position and as I was going to the last lap, I realized that I do not know the way to the finish. It was also snowing, so I had to go back to the shooting range and follow the others.”
Turning 23 in May next year, Vobornikova looks back at her junior career with “a little bit of regret of not being able to enjoy the youth and junior freedom to the fullest”. She started competing in IBU Cup alongside adult athletes only a year after her international debut in 2018. “But I do have special memories from all of the five Youth and Junior Championships,” says the three-times-medallist from this year’s YJWCH in Soldier Hollow. “The fun is over now,” she adds with a smiling face.
As a little girl, Vobornikova attended ballet lessons, which she loved at first. “Even back then, posture and grace in every movement were essential. But I was more of that girl who wanted to relax and go for a little run in the nature. A little later, I joined a cross-country skiing club in Vrchlabí and both myself and my ballet teacher, we figured that the gracefulness is forever gone.”
The decision to start biathlon came with the transition to high school. The 23-years-old chose a sport school located in Jilemnice, where other Czech well-known names such as Jaroslav Soukup, Veronika Vítková or Tereza’s current “A-teammate” Lucie Charvátová began their careers.
Bring back January 2019 when Vobornikova made her World Cup debut in front of the famous loud crowd in Oberhof. Since then, her records show 19 starts at the top level. In her last competition of 21/22 season, she recorded her career-best with the 24th place in the Oslo-Holmenkollen pursuit.
“With the start of the new season, my goal is to get points in almost every competition. Last year, I aimed for the pursuit after each sprint and that went pretty well. This year I also changed the stock of my riffle with the hope of stabilising my shooting performance.”
With continuous improvement during last winter, Vobornikova made her dream appearance at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing as the youngest member of Czech biathlon team. In the Individual competition, which saw tough conditions with low temperatures, she finished 34th which remains her best OWG result so far.
“I am so glad I was able to experience the Olympic Games in Beijing. It was the little things that made it so special – from the plane travels with other Czech athletes to the Olympic clothing collection, which we all wore as a group. I know that not everyone liked the tracks, but I also enjoyed competing in unknown terrain.”
If rest from biathlon is needed, the youngster likes to go to cinema. “I try to go there as much as I can. My favourite genres are horror and detective stories. To balance things out and sweeten my life again, I like to get some ice cream afterwards.” Vobornikova also enjoys travelling both in the Czech Republic and abroad. “My dream is to travel around the USA once my career is over. Still a bit of a sports trip but some sightseeing elements for sure.”
Photos: IBU/ Reichert & Manzoni, Tereza Vobornikova