Olympic champion Laura Dahlmeier continues to decide from year to year how her career will continue. After the end of a difficult season, the exceptional biathlete first seeks peace and distance.
Laura Dahlmeier already has her next big goal in view, but biathlon has nothing to do with it. After the end of a season with many setbacks and fewer highlights than usual is for the double Olympic champion on a tour to the highest mountain in Iran. “You need distance and other people around you, another matter, do not train again,” said the 25-year-old from the German Press Agency. When climbing Dahlmeier is the best way to switch off. After traveling to Nepal, Peru, the United States and Georgia, it’s time to head up the 5604-meter Damawand.
Maybe the seven-time world champion will decide how her career will continue. She will “determine how her future looks like every year in the spring”, said Dahlmeier at the World Cup final in Norway’s capital, Oslo. It is still unclear whether she will also compete next winter and target the World Championships 2020 in Antholz / Italy – or maybe she will retire early.
Customs World Cup and then distance from the biathlon
On Monday, Dahlmeier first returned home, after the last races at Holmenkollen she was looking for peace. Before that, the former overall World Cup winner will compete at the Customs World Championships in Tyrol. As a customs officer, the Bavarian is obliged to. “That’s part of it as well, but then on Friday I’m glad if I can put the rifle in the corner, the skis in the basement, and the things first for one, two weeks no longer have to look.”
“A difficult season”
Behind Dahlmeier are difficult months. In the fall of last year, she had been completely exhausted in the hospital, followed by illnesses and failures. She herself was surprised that she still won two bronze medals in Östersund at the World Championships two weeks ago. “They are very special to me,” said Dahlmeier. In the previous year she celebrated two Olympic victories in Pyeongchang, in 2017 she won five gold and one silver at the World Championships in Hochfilzen.
That was not possible this winter. “Since it was a difficult season for me, I already realize that I’m missing the grains behind,” said Dahlmeier in Oslo. In Saturday’s persecution, it felt like someone “pulled the plug”. Places 27, 20 and 16 were all that was left in Norway in the end.
Dahlmeier is about the fun
Just four weeks ago, the Garmisch-Partenkirchner retired to a mountain pasture a year ago to reflect and distance herself. In the summer, finally, the decision was made to continue. It could look similar in the coming months. “If I continue to enjoy the sport, then I still feel like attacking full front, if it is not so, then it is just not so,” said Dahlmeier the ARD: “I will weigh for me, which is important for me is how I feel and what my body says. ”
Even in Dahlmeier’s most intimate environment, there were doubts that she will be in the World Cup for a long time yet. “From the gut feeling I would say that Laura at the Olympic Games in 2022 in Beijing is no longer at the start,” said her home trainer and discoverer Bernhard Kröll. “It would be better for the biathlon sport, if I’m wrong.”
No problems with motivation, but with health
Dahlmeier does not play a game of attention when it comes to continuing her career. Germany’s athlete of the year 2017 seems uncertain whether she can make it to the top again. She has no problems with motivation, she assured. But her body forced her to take too many breaks, too many races took place without the exception. While Magdalena Neuner resigned in 2012 at the age of 25 mainly for personal reasons, Dahlmeier is also concerned with health.
Hardly anyone can torment themselves like them. After her World Cup victories Dahlmeier suffered in Hochfilzen fainting, even in Oslo, she gave it all and wrestled in the finish for them rather mediocre results completely pumped out for air. “Full throttle to the end” she has given. That’s why a break is now urgently needed. “I need one, two, three weeks off, then I will be active again.”