It’s hard to say exactly how I found it again. I believe that getting sick during Christmas break and missing out on the World Cup in Pokljuka had its part. Although I came into the season feeling well-prepared, I struggled a bit before Christmas with my performances. Being forced to take this sick break in the first days of 2023, I watched the first World Cup from home and felt my motivation rising. I wanted to get back to racing. I also had to put aside the thought of finishing in the top position in the Total Score standings. After that, I could take it to race by race and day by day.
I would describe my newly re-found happiness mainly as a curiosity. I’m going into the races with a positive inquisitiveness. My mind sets on doing my very best in every situation and not on the prestige of having a fast course time or making that many points in the Total Score. I am enjoying the process!
I don’t know if I have changed so much, but I have learned a lot! For example: what’s included when you do good results regarding media and sponsors? I understand the importance of recovery and refuelling much better. And so on.
I think that women’s biathlon is getting increasingly competitive every year. We now have a fair number of girls with a very high level of skiing and shooting. I have always been a fast shooter, but compared to five years ago, the best girls are performing very well in every aspect of the competition: fast skiing, high hit rate at the range, and also speedy range times. At the time of my breakthrough, I could win some time on the shooting range compared to the best women. Today you lose time on the best if you’re not pushing your range times.
Yes, I guess the plan is to start the season strong and get at least one good training block before the championships. Oberhof 2023 are the record Championships for Sweden in the medal count.
Of course, it’s essential to have good well-being throughout your life, both in sports and outside. I have also learned that it is necessary to have things outside of sports that mean something to you. It’s more about finding things that are something else than training and can get your mind a bit of rest.
I see it as I have the very best situation you can have as a biathlete. We train together nearly every day, and we can push each other in most of the sessions. I am thankful to have her, and I know that I wouldn’t have been able to improve my ski speed the way I’ve done the last couple of years without her. I do also feel happy about her her successes. It gives so much energy when you feel pleased for someone else but only yourself! But I must say that at the beginning of Elvira becoming super fast on her skis and more powerful than me in some sessions, I struggled a bit. We talked a lot about it at the time. It was up to me to recognise that her success didn’t mean I was performing poorly.
In the hard training sessions, we have a genuine competition going on between us. In the lighter sessions, we do a lot of talking. We have a lot in common and have also grown closer to each other since we both ended up on the national team. Today it means a lot to me to share this journey with Elvira. We get to share so much. And I’m very grateful for it.
Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni, B. Reichert