First there were six World Championship titles and then she wins the overall World Cup – the 2016/17 season could not have gone any better for Laura Dahlmeier. The 23-year-old from Garmisch-Partenkirchen fulfilled several of her dreams but the ambitious athlete only let herself take a short break and is now busy training for the Olympic season of 2017/18 in Pyeongchang/South Korea. Despite the intense training Laura Dahlmeier took the time for an interview with La Loupe where she talked about her goals for the coming winter season and the most formative experiences as a biathlete.
L.L. / Ms Dahlmeier, ever since your great successes during the last season there has been a lot of interest in your person. Have you gotten used to the media hype yet?
L.D. / With the six World Championship medals the last winter was incredible. I am aware that the media’s interest in my person has increased over the past years but I can’t say I can get used to it.
L.L. / You were passionate about alpine skiing until you were nine years old. How did you end up in the biathlon discipline?
L.D. / I always enjoyed going downhill – but when I was a child I simply felt that the wait for the lift was too long (laughs). Biathlon, on the other hand, has always been lots of fun for me and so I stuck with it.
L.L. / Russia, South Korea, Finland, Norway – as a biathlete you travel all over the world. Is there any one experience that has formed you in the course of your career?
L.D. / Yes, we really are on the road quite a lot. However, one can’t really enjoy the time abroad because training and preparation for the competition start right after arrival. I would say that the places where I was most successful have definitely formed me: Oslo, Antholz, and Hochfilzen.
L.L. / During your competitions you are extremely focused and concentrated. Is that a quality you always had or something you had to practise over time?
L.D. / I always try to work on my strengths and weaknesses in every area. Of course, that also includes mental training and focus. So yes, it’s a strength of mine, but one I had to fight hard for to make sure I can start into a competition with all my mental strength.
L.L. / At the moment you’re busy training for the 2017/18 Olympic season. What are your goals?
L.D. / Well first of all I’d say it’s every athlete’s biggest dream to be allowed to take part in Olympic Winter Games. Three years ago in Sochi that childhood dream became true for me. Of course, the expectations are high after the World Championship in Hochfilzen. I personally want to deliver my best performance on the cross-country trail and the shooting range. In the end, the result really is of secondary importance.
L.L. / You need breaks, too. How do you like to spend your time in Garmisch-Partenkirchen when you’re not busy training?
L.D. / I always like to be out in the nature to recharge my batteries. So it’s only logical that I spend a lot of my free time in the mountains around Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Laura Dahlmeier's Wordrap
For me home means…relaxation.
Running or shooting? Both!
My role model is…in the athletic world Martin Fourcade and Magdalena Neuner, personally the extreme mountaineer Uli Steck.
If I hadn’t become a professional athlete I would now be…host in a mountain hut (laughs).
My favourite place for training: Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Laura Dahlmeier, daughter of the two successful professional athletes Susi and Andreas Dahlmeier, was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1993. At the age of seven she first held a biathlon rifle in her hands, it took another two years for her to decide on the sport. Since her A-levels in 2011 Laura Dahlmeier has been focusing on the sport where she was able to celebrate multiple successes. Meanwhile she has become a fixed member of the German Ski Association’s A-cadre and the World Cup team. In her private life the athlete from Garmisch-Partenkirchen enjoys spending time in the nature while hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and ski touring.