Kristel Viigipuu interview

Today we have a birthday interview again. We travel back to one of the most lovely nation... you know right, it's Estonia. We have interview with Kristel Vigipuu.

BFH: First, we all would like to wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and say thank you to accept our request, you have made us happy! How are you now, how goes your preparation?

Kristel: Thank you very much for the birthday wishes!!
I am doing fine and so far my preparation has gone fine also. Right now we are having a
camp in Anterselva, Italy. It’s our first camp abroad, so it’s really good and refreshing to do trainings here.

BFH: You had took part some races during your preparation. Are you statisfied with your performances or you felt some more effort in yourself?

Kristel: Yes i took part of Biathlon cross European Championships in Haanja, Estonia. I’m not really satisfied with my performance because my shooting was bad- i shot many penalties in standing. But it’s summertime and these were my first competitions so i don’t worry about it.

BFH: You already have experiences from Olympic Games. You were one of the Estonian biathletes in Vancouver in 2010. How did you feel yourself there? You were only 19 years old.

Kristel: I felt good to be on the Olympic Games! It’s been one of my dreams to reach there and for me it happened when i was 19. I think because of that i didn’t have much pressure on me, everyone told me to do my own competitions and enjoy it.

BFH: What do you think, could your olympic memories help you on the hard way to Sochi? I think your participation in the next Winter Olympic Games is your absolutely main goal to your next season. How do you see your chances?

Kristel: Yes think my Olympic memories are helping me, i know what the Games are like and that i would really-really like to compete there again.
Chances...Our nation can send 4 women to the Olympics and 5 athletes are fighting for the tickets, So i think it’s not impossible.

BFH: You didn't start in any competition in Sochi last winter, and lot of athletes said it's one of the hardest place in the world. What do you think is it right, or fortunately you like this type of tracks?

Kristel: I didn’t take part of any World Cup competitions in Sochi because i wasn’t there. But I watched the races from TV and heard many athletes opinion that Sochi tracks are crazy hard, some of them even told that they’re not sure they’d like to go to the Olympics anymore. So i don’t know yet if i like those tracks, I have to see them with my own eyes and ski there before i can answer this question.

BFH: Unfortunately in the last season you couldn't earn any World Cup points, but it could be change in the next winter. What'll be your main goal in the next World Cup season by the Olympic participation?

Kristel: My last season was bad, i did only few normal competitions. So i haven’t put any main goals yet, but sure i want to have much better season and earn World Cup points again!

BFH: Are you planning to start in any competition before winter?

Kristel: Yes i am, We have Estonian Championships in September on rollerskis and first snowcamp comps in Finland. Both of these are control competitions who’s going to the first World Cups.

BFH: Now, please tell to us something about the beginnings. When did you start biathlon and why?

Kristel: I started with biathlon ten years ago when i was 13 years old. My brother started with biathlon first and then i thought i’d like to try also, so one day i went with him to our Ski Club. People were nice and friendly, Coach was kind and i liked the atmosphere, these were the first reasons why i started to do biathlon. But when i learned to ski and got to shoot with rifle first time- i had new reasons...i just started to love this sport!!

BFH: How do you motivate yourself during races and trainings day by day? What is your biggest dream in your career?

Kristel: I do what i love to do and that’s what motivates me. I don’t talk about my dreams out loud but i would really like to do and achieve something big!

BFH: Biathletes are very busy, they haven't got so much free times, but if you have some... what do you usually like to do?

Kristel: If i have free time i try to get together with my friends- catch up with them, have a car trip in Estonia and do something fun together.

BFH: I think Biathlon Fans Hungary is one of your team's biggest supporter. Have you got some special message to us and to the other Hungarian fans?

Kristel: I’m really happy that we have fans in Hungary and that you find time to make these interviews. So keep on doing it, enjoy life and be happy!!

Thank you the interview, we wish you the best! 

Baiba Bendika interview

Till now we asked athletes from 18 nations, but today we will explore a new country, a new culture in biathlon. A little young girl found us, and now we would like to know a bit more about her. Today we have interview with Baiba Bendika from Latvia.

BFH: Dear Baiba, thank you very much to accept our interview request. We was very happy when we saw your like in our page. What sparked your interest in us?

Baiba: Some of my friend had put "like" to one of your posts and so I looked your page closer and found some really interesting information there and nice interviews to read!

BFH: When did you start biathlon, and why did you choose this beautiful sport?

Baiba: I was really young, it could be 2001 I think, but first biathlon medal I have from 2005. My first trainer is my dad's old trainer, so.. But when I was young I also participated in orienteering sport, running, skiing and floorball, but I chose biathlon, because I loved it the most!

BFH: How popular is biathlon in Latvia? Do you get enough support from your country and from your fans?

Baiba: Now popularity is going down a little bit, so it's sad, because now we even can't form the woman relay team. But emotional support is good and it's really helps! other side is financial support..

BFH: Every athletes are different. Somebodies like flat tracks, and somebodies like hilly tracks. And you? Which places are your favourites? You completed your pesonally best in Nove Mesto. Is it one of them?

Baiba: I would like to say that I like safe tracks, like one of my favorites are Beitostolen and Antholz-Anterselva, so it's something in the middle between flat and hilly tracks. But Nove Mesto is in my "ok" track group.

BFH: You are very young, in this winter you completed your 2nd season in the World Cup series. How can you summarize your performance? Are you statisfied?

Baiba: This year I started only in one World cup and I wasn't ready to start in altitude like it is in Antholz, so I had bad performance there. But in IBU cups I had quite good season and some good progress, so I would like to say that my season was good.

BFH: You have chance to take part in your first Olympic Games in the next year in Sochi. I think now you are more motivated than ever. What do you think about your chances, and what are your goals in Sochi when you can start there?

Baiba: My chance is 1 out of 3, because we are 3 girls in team, but we have one place to Sochi. And possibilities are quite similar, Ţanna is faster in track, but she is not so good in shooting range, and with Inga we are quite similar in track and shooting. So the selection competitions will be really interesting. But if I get to Sochi, my goal will be just do all my best!

BFH: What are your goals in the World Cup season? Maybe reach your first point?

Baiba: Second year we have only one place in World Cups, so now I don't know in how much of them I will start, but points would be wonderfull, but I think it's not yet this year's goal. But in IBU Cup I want to see myself in Top 20!

BFH: You just completed your first bigger competition in your preparation time in Estonia in the Summer Open European Championships. What do you think now your work and your results? You are on a right way or you have some things what you should improve in yourself?

Baiba: It absolutely was good positive emotion dose! And I am really happy with my 5th place in sprint! And the relay and sprint gave me more confidence in shooting range, but I have very much work to improve my speed in track.

BFH: What habits do you have before the races? Have you got mascots?

Baiba: I think that I haven't special habits before races. Maybe like habit I can call special diet before races, but so I just try to stay positive before start. And like a mascot I have latvian flag wristband with aperture insert from my old rifle.

BFH: Now, please tell to us something about your private life. What do you like to do, and how do you spend your free times between the races and seasons?

Baiba: So that I haven't much free time, one of my favorite activities in free time are to sleep late with my boyfriend, watch some film and just spend some good time with family, have some picnic or some trip in nature. But in camps and races when I am away from home I rest, make some fun with teammates and do some works for university.

BFH: You must to know that, we will be in Hochfilzen, and of course we also will cheer to you during the competitions as loud as we can. Finally, have you got a special message to the Hungarian fans?

Baiba: I hope that I will be there! And keep making nice interviews to read, it's also good way to as athletes to know each other!

Thank you very much the interview, we wish you the best in your career! 

Sarah Murphy interview

Today we travel a lot... to the other end of the world again. We take a trip to New Zealand, to have an interview with Sarah 'Hurricane' Murphy.

BFH: Dear Sarah, thank you to accept our interview request. Some people know you as a Hurricane. How become this nickname for you?

Sarah: No problem Well, there are a few reasons for the nickname I guess, but mainly it is because I seem to arrive suddenly, cause some sort of disaster, and then go. Also, because I seem to have a boat load of energy and I'm usually just running around crazily.

BFH: You were born in Canada, and you started your career in Canadian colours. Why did you change nation and why special New Zealand did you choose?

Sarah: Yep- started racing in Canada, but because I grew up in both New Zealand and Canada I had two passports. I was given the chance to help develop the sport in New Zealand and be the first female biathlete for the country. I love both countries though

BFH: In New Zealand you are the only one female biathlete. How popular is biathlon in there?

Sarah: It's growing! We just had a great camp with some kiwis, Aussies, Swedes, Japanese athletes and some wee Canadians. The Wanaka biathlon club (only biathlon club in New Zealand) is growing, and next year there are some young athletes heading to Sweden for an exchange.

BFH: A lot of athletes from the little nations need some help during the races and preparation times. I think you feel the same. Which nations give you the most help? Who is your best friend from the athletes?

Sarah: I think every nation has helped me at some point. I traveled with Ukraine for 2 seasons, Slovenia waxed my skis this season, Poland has always been a huge help, GBR are always good to have a laugh with, and some of my childhood friends are on the Canadian team. Its hard to say who the best friends are as everyone is so friendly.

BFH: You train alone or you join to other nations?

Sarah: Now I am training alone. Last year I lived in Switzerland which was an interesting experience, but now I am really happy to be back in New Zealand. There are a lot of athletes who come to train here in the winter, so it is a really nice training atmosphere.

BFH: In 2010 you took part in the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. You also celebrated there your 22nd birthday. What memories do you have about the Olympic Games? How did you live it?

Sarah: The Olympics were an amazing experience- I think I was in a daze the whole time. My races were not great, but the energy of the games was something I will never forget.

BFH: The next year will be an Olympic year again. You are the only one athlete from your nation, so you are in a very difficult situation. How do you see your chances for Sochi?

Sarah: Well…it is looking like I will need a miracle. I do not have any support from my nation, so it is really tough to train like all the other teams. New Zealand has set a tough qualifying standard for me and I have to complete it before Christmas to qualify. I am still confident I can do it, but it is going to be hard.

BFH: What are your other goals for the next season? I think a reached World Cup point could make you very statisfied.

Sarah: Yep, that would be nice. I was close before the last Olympics with 43rd, but never quite made it into the top 40. I would of course love to qualify for the Olympics.

BFH: In what races can meet a fans with you in this off-season?

Sarah: Any really. I am pretty approachable. I will be in Idre, Ostersund, Hochfilzen, and Le Grande-Bornand.

BFH: In the IBU datacenter everybody can read a very interesting hobby on your page. It's sheep shearing. Everybody know in New Zealand are a lot of sheeps, it's a very traditional event there, it have a lot of competitions too. Are you good in it? What are you love in it?

Sarah: To be honest, I haven't done much sheep shearing lately. Although last night, we did shoot a possum. Just a wee bit of NZL biathlon truing

BFH: Finally, please tell to us, have you good memories with the Hungarian fans? Have you got a special message?

Sarah: Yep, Emoke and Charlie are great. We have many great memories together. I am looking forward to seeing them this coming season!

BFH: Thank you the interview, we wish you all the best for the preparation and the next season too!

Sarah: Thanks so much! If anyone wants to help me to try to qualify, they can check out this page: http://www.plumfund.com/pf/OlympicDream Take care, have fun and smile!!! xx Sarah

Dasha Yurlova interview

Today we countinue our trip in Estonia. After Johanna Talihärm and Grete Gaim we asked Dasha Yurlova about her career and plans.

BFH: Dear Dasha, thank you to accept our interview request. In the last season you came closer and closer to the top 40. How can you summarize your last season? Are you statisfied or you expected more of yourself?

Dasha: This year I definitely felt the development but only in the ski course. Unfortunately, my shooting wasn't very good and it was a big minus

BFH: You took part in the Junior World Championships too. There you had great results. You were 10th in the sprint and 6th in the pursuit. During the pursuit you defeated some also talented athletes from the bigger nations. Was it a good feeling for you? How did you see your races?

Dasha: In the championship I was a little disappointed, because missed the opportunity to get a medal. but I am always looking for only the positive aspects. Indeed, my speed was very good and had a good feeling, because I was competing with very strong girls

BFH: Next season is an Olympic season. You can prepare yourself to your first Winter Olympic games. I think it'll be the most important race in your career so far. What results would you be statisfied?

Dasha: Yes, I want to go to the Olympics, and now busily preparing for it. I think that this year I can count on the top 40

BFH: Beside by the Olympic games a new World Cup season will wait for you. You'll have a chance again to reach your first points. It'll be your main goal for the next season?

Dasha: Spite of the Olympic Games, the World Cup is an important competition. I think it is time to get changed into points.

BFH: Your team is very young and looks very motivated. You have many good results from Junior World Championships. What do you think, your hard work and great motivation is enough to grow up to the top nations in some years?

Dasha: I hope so. Every girl in our team are motivated, it is important that the Estonian biathlon federation has helped us to develop

BFH: We were in Nove Mesto in the World Championships. Unfortunately we saw only one Estonian flag during the competitions. Do you usually meet with fans from your country in different places?

Dasha: Of our country, I almost never see the fans. This is usually relatives or close friends of the athletes.

BFH: In Nove Mesto you started only in the mixed relay and in the sprint. You have problems or your coach took this decision?

Dasha: My junior championship was so intense that my body broke down and I got sick.

BFH: In this beautiful summer are you planning to take part in some summer competitions before the winter season?

Dasha: This year will be the European Championships Summer Biathlon in Haanja (EST). There we will participate

BFH: When did you started biathlon, and why did you choose this sport? I think you already have a lot of experiences. What were your most memorable moments in your career?

Dasha: I started when I was 8 years old. It was like a game for me. My family is very athletic and all skied but at the amateur level. I remember when I won my first medal at the first competition in skiing. I was very motivated and I began to quickly train

BFH: Now, please tell some words about you. What do you usually like to do? Have you some hobbies? How do you spend your rest times between the seasons?

Dasha: Usually, between training camps, I spend time at home and with friends. Now, I went to university, and I will dedicate my time to studying.

BFH: The Estonian team is one of the most sympatic teams for us. We were your biggest supporters in Nove Mesto and we'd like to hold our position in your life! Have you got a special message to the Hungarian fans?

Dasha: If there would be no fans, there would be no sport. Thank you for your support!

Thank you the interview, we wish you a successful preparation and a perfect season for you! 

Anja Eržen interview

After the Summer World Championships we can't stop ourselves, we get more impetus, and we continue our interviews. Today we asked a brand new biathlete. She just started her career with a perfect performance. Now, keep calm, and read our interview with the young Slovenian rocket Anja Eržen.

BFH: Dear Anja, thank you to accept our interview request. You are a new girl in biathlon, until this time you went skiing in cross country competitions. Please tell to us when did you start your career?

Anja: My career started in 2002, we went cross-country skiing with our school and there I met a teacher, who was also a cross-country trainer in a club, to which I joined later. But the biggest influence on me had my uncle, who was a very successful biathlete, Janez Maric. My family, especially grandparents, always wanted me to become a biathlete, and at the beginning I was pretty sure myself I will become one, but then my path took the other direction, cross-country skiing.

BFH: You have a lot of top 10 places and wins in your ages in cross country, but you choosed biathlon for the next season. Why? You aren't statisfied with your efforts, or you would like to looking for some new challenges?

Anja: Well, the conditions in Slovenian cross-country skiing were not so good in the last few years. The biggest thing that bothered me was that they were changing national team trainer every two years and because of that also the whole training system changed. In the last year I lost a lot of my motivation. A lot of talented cross-country skiers ended their careers and I didn’t want to be one of them because I love this sport so much. Last year during summer I met a friend of mine from Germany, who was a cross-country skier but have decided to become a biathlete and she did some really good results this season, so she made me think a lot about biathlon. Not to mention my family, who are now continuously bothering me with: ‘’We told you so! Why didn’t you listen before!’’:)

BFH: How do you feel yourself in the world of biathlon? What were your first feelings and what do you like in this sport?

Anja: I absolutely love it! Biathletes are much more relaxed and communicative. I’ve met more biathletes from other countries in one week than I did cross-country skiers in 11 years. Everybody knows everybody and they are always so positive. And our team is so amazing. Even though there are not many girls, the boys are great and they are always up for some fun. Not to mention the trainers, I really trust in their training system and they are always willing to help and explain me new things.
I also really like the shooting. My uncle made me a wooden part of the riffle, so it’s made by my measurements. I like the fact that the results depend not only on skiing but also on shooting.

BFH: Now you have different trainings, because you had to learn shoot. Was it difficult or you could learn it easy?

Anja: I think I learned it pretty fast, at least my shooting coach says so. Of course there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am very motivated and up for it. Especially I need to learn to be faster and catch the right rhythm. And of course the standing shooting still gives me some hard time, especially on races, but I will work on that too, I promise.

BFH: You already started in a big competition, and you reached absolutely perfect results. You missed the podium place with only 3,5 seconds in the sprint and you came in the 7th position in the pursuit. How can you summarize your first Summer World Championships? Are you statisfied with yourself?

Anja: I am pretty satisfied, especially with my running. I just graduated from gymnasium and because of all the studying I started training pretty late. The shooting was expected. In the sprint it was okay because there were only 2 shootings. If only I didn’t miss that 4 targets standing. The pursuit was hard for me because of more shooting but I am still very happy with my results.

BFH: Sochi is coming, but you already have memories from Vancouver, you was only 17 years old. Could you tell to us what special feelings did you have during that Olympic Games?

Anja: The Olympic Games in Vancouver were an amazing experience. I felt really lucky to be a part of it. The people were so friendly, you could fell the Olympic spirit. The intention of me participating was the relay. But unfortunately Petra Majdic got injured and we didn’t make the result, we wanted. But still, I had great two weeks in Canada and I will remember it forever.

BFH: Vancouver is the past.. Now, let's talk about Sochi! You must prove in a new kind of sport. How do you see your chances to take part in the next Winter Olympic Games?

Anja: Well, I am older now and I have a different view on such big competitions like Olympic Games. I want to participate but only if I know I can do a good result. I don’t think you can count on me in Sochi, but we’ll see. I really want to prove myself. I want to deserve it.

BFH: In November you can start your first biathlon World Cup season. What are your goals for that season?

Anja: First I will start IBU cups and then we’ll see how that goes. It’s too soon to talk about World Cup. My main goal for now is to improve shooting skills and then we’ll go from there.

BFH: You are still very young. Only 20 years old. You are in the beginning of a beautiful career. What could be your main goal in your career? Have you ever thought about that?

Anja: Of course I thought about that. My main goal is to be a successful biathlete and of course to win an Olympic medal. Doesn’t everybody want that?

BFH: We and I think also the other fans would like to know more about you. Please tell to us something about your private life. What do you do between the seasons and trainings? Have you got hobbies? Have you special habits before the races?

Anja: I like to travel. But in the last few years there weren’t many chances for that because I had to finish school. I hope there will be more in the future. I also like to bake. But I have to find some recipes for healthier treats, otherwise my teammates will get fat. And I love knitting. Right now I have a project to make the whole team the same caps in the same colour (Olympic colours of Slovenia). I’ve already started because I have to make like 20 caps by autumn.
Before the race I only do one thing. Before I go to sleep, I go through the whole track in my mind. On the day of the competition I am focused on the warming-up. Nothing special, really. I try to be as relaxed as possible.

BFH: We already bought our tickets to Hochfilzen, so you also can count on our cheers. Your team mates already felt in Nove Mesto how can we cheer to our favourites. Finally, what special messages do you have to the Hungarian Fans?

Anja: First, I would like to thank for the support! I will do everything that’s in my power to be the best I can be. I am looking forward to hearing you during the competitions!
And thank you for the interview, it was my pleasure.

Thank you the interview, we wish a successful season to you!