- Biathlete Laura Dahlmeier retires at the age of 25 from competitive sports. The thought of it had been around for some time.
- She no longer feels the 100% passion that "is needed for professional sports," she writes.
- Dahlmeier was for years the face of their sport – and is now looking forward to a little more peace.
In the hand the espresso, outside the window the golf course. A barren meadow was only in the winter of Pyeongchang, the German athletes had rented a resident golf club to recover there after winning medals. Laura Dahlmeier was sitting there in the winter of 2018, and had a lot of work to do. Double Olympic champion, with 24 years, a bronze medal even more. Dahlmeier drank, had to think. Would you see them again in Beijing in 2022? "Everything is open," she said. "I've been biathlon since I was nine years old."
At the Winter Games 2022 in Beijing Dahlmeier will no longer be seen at the shooting range, that much has been clear since Friday noon: she shared her retirement with social networks. "It's time to say hello," she wrote, after an "incredibly tough season," she no longer feels one hundred percent passion "needed for professional sport."
In March she won two more bronze medals at the World Championships in Östersund in Sweden. Struck, and all the more happy about the successes. That she now gives up the sport at the age of 25, where her heart hung, that is a farewell, which has long been initiated.
"She can run like a horse"
At that time in South Korea Dahlmeier probably did not really know what the coming years bring her, she had to process the past 13 days. And that's not always easy when you're the face of a whole German team, for years. On the very first day of the games, she was sprinting for the Olympic gold medal in the sprint, then told how she practiced as a child: jumping onto the bed, arms up, simulating victory. The persecution in Pyeongchang ended her with more gold, the single bronze. "Here was always in mind: Okay, there are six races, I have to continue training, keep focus," said Dahlmeier, "that was certainly not an easy situation."
Her parents, who also traveled to South Korea, met her by chance while jogging, there was no time for everything else. And yet she already knew more about taking some moments to enjoy herself. Because a year ago at the World Championships in Hochfilzen in Austria everything was a bit too crazy, with five gold and a silver medal, with all the TV dates and increased expectations of the biathlon fans.
"Laura reads a race during the competition," her home trainer Bernhard Kröll once said, and that was one of the reasons for her success. She knew when she had to run in the slipstream of the others, because the opponent might be wasted and pawing on the shooting range. She knew when she had to realign her rifle when the wind changed. Dahlmeier was a queen of breaks. Where others got weak knees, the competition started for them. "If I'm doing something wrong with mountaineering, then I could be dead," she once said, "Climbing was her second passion," "if I make a mistake in the biathlon competition, I might end up in 25th place."
. (tagsToTranslate) Biathlon (t) Laura Dahlmeier (t) Winter Sports (t) Sports (t) Süddeutsche Zeitung (t) SZ