My favourite moment from the season 21/22 is definitely Vytautas Strolia picking up Anton Smolski’s ski in the Antholz men’s mass start. Without a doubt, he picked up the ski and handed it over to Anton during the first lap. This just goes to show the true #biathlonfamily spirit that lives among the athletes. Maybe it was the good karma from his move but he ended up having the best season of his career with three top 6 placings.
(Jenni Ahonen, IBU Junior Digital Manager)
After five mistakes in the standing shooting in the pursuit, Emilien Jacquelin approached the mass start in Annecy Le Grand Bornand as if his life depended on the win. He put everything on the line as he not only wanted to win but wanted to do so in grand style. But ostensible arrogance ceases being arrogance when one walks the talk. And Jacquelin did that with a superb performance. He celebrated his first-ever world cup win in front of a sold-out house, waving the French flag, gorging into the admiration. Wonderful!
(Jaka Lucu, IBU Publications Manager)
Justine Braisaz-Bouchet’s Olympic Mass Start victory, was a favourite moment because her win was totally unexpected after 48th and 40th in the sprint and individual. The surprised Braisaz-Bouchet, previously never on a mass start podium, was, “in shock when I crossed the finish line.” The very intelligent Braisaz-Bouchet many times overthinks; the mass start, “was the first race of the Olympics when I did not think about results or medals. I really enjoyed this winter all the way along; it was amazing. I could not imagine such an amazing thing.” Nor could those who saw her coming to the Beijing finish line.
(Jerry Kokesh, IBU Media Team)
Marketa Davidova winning the opening Individual in Oestersund: there is no better feeling than seeing an athlete from your country on top of the podium. Given that this was the first competition of the season, it came with a great sense of enthusiasm and excitement for the rest of the year. It was also a major step towards winning the Individual Globe – the first for a Czech athlete since 2017!
(Katerina Outla, IBU Media Team)
After scoring a sprint-pursuit double in Ruhpolding, which marked his big push towards the Overall, Quentin Fillon Maillet kissed his yellow and red bib with the number 1 on it commenting “It feels like superman with his cape”. It was both cute and arrogant, but of the good kind, the one that tells you how hungry he was for the success, but how humble his journey was. For me, it was the moment I knew he would lift the Overall trophy.
(Giulio Gasparin, IBU Media Team)
I was looking forward the Olympic relay a lot and I was cheering on Norway since they have been so consistent and also it’s been a long time since they won the Olympic men’s relay. The race was obviously not going as they planned but the last shooting was one of the best things I have seen in biathlon in my life. To master the shooting under so much pressure in the most crucial moment when everything is on the line was peak biathlon for me and the ending for Norway seemed too good to be true. I also loved that Vetle repeated the last shooting in the mass start and took individual bronze.
Usually, I don’t miss biathlon races but this season I missed 2 World Cups. I could only watch the last World Cup in Holmenkollen because that’s when they evacuated from bombs in Kharkiv. When I saw that so many athletes from different countries had blue and yellow symbols I started to cry because it was very touching. It gave me understanding that biathlon community knows about the situation in Ukraine and supports us. I also know that some athletes mentioned Ukraine in their interviews and posted in social media. Thank you guys, we feel your support.
The first Otepaeae World Cup weekend is my favourite moment from the season 2021/2022 because I had quite a few firsts there. For the first time in history my motherland Estonia was hosting my absolute favourite sports event - BMW IBU World Cup. It was something Estonian biathlon fans had been waiting for for a long time. It was also my first time attending a BMW IBU World Cup event, seeing biathletes in real life and celebrating my 19th birthday in Otepaeae.
Elvira Öberg’s first win with her sister coming in third in Annecy Le Grand Bonnard. Hanna gave her a big hug in the finish. Seemed like she was more excited about her little sister's first win than Elvira was.
Last but not least: We simply couldn’t choose just one fan to comment here because no one was mentioned more often than Erik Lesser who - with the announcement of his retirement off of his chest - soared down the home straight of his career. The German wrapped up his career with a final pursuit victory in Holmenkollen – and inspired the entire biathlon family in many ways.
Pictures: IBU Photopool