Small crystal globe, Beijing without medal. Biathletes had a special season
Didn’t the scalp of this year’s little globe holder gnaw at you to reconsider the decision?
You know, when Makula lands three shots in the prone position, it’s not very difficult on a one kilometer circuit. (laughs) Definitely, nothing bothered me, because this race was particularly fun.
How long did the final decision take you?
I was broke last year when I wasn’t having much success. But I thought the Olympic season was coming. That it may happen that you don’t get a season and everything goes back to normal. So I decided to try. If things go well, we’ll see what happens next with the Olympics. Being in my 40s, 50s and slowly being happy to get into the fight is not a motivation for me at my age. I was already driving better, and I lacked direction and joy.
But you were fifth among the Czechs in the final World Cup standings and you would definitely have a place in the nomination.
Even though there was still room for me, because we took an extra position again this year, and the younger girls still have a bit of a hole behind us, I don’t completely identify with the state of being somewhere just because I can. Moreover, I was no longer able to help the relay as I wished.
It was the relay race in Beijing that ended up being your last big show.
On the way to the Olympics, I already knew that I was basically going there as a substitute. That I will not go there individual races. And I probably took over only because young Terka was already tired and still had the World Cup ahead of her. I am judicial. It’s just time to leave.
I need to shut up for a moment, David said. Then he will decide what to do with himself
Did you consult someone or was it just your decision?
It was my inner decision. But my relatives knew it, we talked about it. When I was 11th in the first race of the season, I thought I would consider everything if it continued like this. Then my performance plummeted. Everything was clear and I said to myself: enough is enough.
Has anyone convinced you to change your mind?
Everyone around me understood that I was not filled with the current state. They knew I was not happy with my performance. For example, Egil (Gjelland, coach of the Czech women’s national team – editor’s note) told me that he understands that life is not limited to biathlon, and that many other beautiful things await me. If I hadn’t made that decision, she believed I could still break it and drive something great. But if I don’t believe it inside, there’s no need to worry.
I guess it’s too early, but I’ll ask about the future. First to the loved one. What awaits you now? Finish school?
In fact, I completed my studies for about five years. All I have to do is finish my geography endorsement. So it’s not a whole state. I have to finish the final thesis and make an appointment for the final exam. Only then will I decide to do it or move on. But now, immediately after the season, I need a good rest. Breathe in the fresh air, reflect and absorb it all.
Probably to relax mentally after such a crucial decision.
Absoutely. Basically, I was in one medium for fifteen years. Such a sports bubble. Now, I evolve in an environment that I do not know at all. I’m going to go through a period that others go through at twenty-four, twenty-five years after school, when they decide what to do in life. It came to me when I was thirty-one. I miss these seven years a little and I will have to deal with it.
Isn’t the more distant future conceivable for you again in this sports bubble? The president of the union, Jiří Hamza, said that he would like to involve you in some way in the team.
With Ondra Rybář they gave it to me. If I want at any time, I can join the team. I have some experience, plus I have a coaching license, so that option exists. For the moment, however, I feel that I am quite tired of biathlon. So I don’t want to get into training with the kids right now. To be 100% in this environment again, at the shooting range… I will definitely have to do something else for a month. But I can imagine it in the more distant future, because the sport accompanies me all my life.
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Doesn’t your cut off from the present mean the idea of moving to Italy?
Together with Thomas (Bormolini, an Italian biathlete and a friend), we solve the future and think about different variants. It is not yet on the agenda whether I move there or him to the Czech Republic. Now is the time to clarify what and how to do it.
I will once again quote the head of the Hamza association, who spoke of you as the sunshine of the team. Did you enjoy the role of the most experienced member in addition to your younger colleagues?
I have always felt sorry for the generations of older colleagues who introduced me to the national team. Gabča, Ondra, Boušek were my hearts, whom I admired when I was little. (laughs) Then came the change of generation, the younger girls came with whom I think we got along well. Lucka, Marketa, Jessica, the difference isn’t that big there. And Makula came to me several times ahead of the rest of us. Now even younger girls are coming and I’m sure we had no problems together. We had a lot of fun together, so maybe they won’t remember me as a bitter old colleague.
Was the mentioned Gabriela Soukalová one of your godmothers at the time of your national team debut?
I started with even older runners. They gradually left, but during this time my generation came to an end. Jitka Landová, Lea Johanidesová and others, who accompanied me from the junior category, also gradually disappeared. Of this generation, practically only Bimbas (Michal Krčmář) remained.
Do you like to remember a manager who would have had a major impact on your career?
I remember all the coaches. Venoušek Čuřík, Mr. and Mrs. Soukal at the gym, Zdenda Vítek, Jířa Holubec, Egil… there were many of them. Each of them brought me something and I’m happy to have been able to work with them. Thanks to them, I am who I am. They shaped me and I can only thank them over the years.
You are a World Cup bronze medalist. Even if you still don’t have it in your hands, you are also an Olympic medalist. Are these your greatest career moments? Or do you enjoy something else the most?
As for the Olympics, I didn’t have a medal in hand, I have no experience of it, for me it doesn’t exist that much. The greatest experience is really a bronze medal with a mixed relay. It was divine. Overall, the relay experience trumps everything else in my career. Also two third places in the World Cup in individual races.
The biathletes withdrew at the end of the world championships. Davidová in the sprint fourth, Jislová sixth
Biathlon has had a huge boom in our last decade and you have been there. But you didn’t take part in the first world championships in Nové Město in 2013. The next one will be here in 2024. You haven’t thought about that either? How would you say goodbye at home in front of full stands?
(laughs) A farewell to New Town would be great. But it’s still been two years. It’s very long. If I was twenty-five, I wouldn’t have thought of it at all. But in two years, I will be thirty-three years old… And I would already like very much to experience normal things. To jump in life, you have to start a family. It would delay him.
In Oslo, after the announcement of the end, you felt great emotions and sadness as you said goodbye. But is there something you won’t miss and are you happy not to experience it anymore?
I will certainly not miss that even if I don’t want to do something, I still have to do it. For example, on vacation by the sea, I only had to get up in the morning and jog. I can growl now. (laughs) I completely identify with what Jarda Soukup said. When I look out the window at home and it’s ugly, I stay home. I’m really looking forward to it.
What did biathlon bring you and what did it take?
He definitely gave me more. I don’t even think he’ll take anything from me. On the contrary, he made up for it with other experiences and especially with the friendships I made during my career. Also, my real friends have stayed out of biathlon so far, although we haven’t seen each other much. I will be happy to remember the biathlon part of my life for the rest of my life.
We have already tasted it in the interview. In recent years, basically what the end of the season, it’s been a big farewell. Last year Moravec, before him Vítková, Šlesingr, Soukup and others. Now you say goodbye. What would you say to your followers?
The only thing. Let them enjoy their career. She escapes terribly quickly. I remember saying to myself after Sochi: I will give two more Olympic cycles. It’s time. And it got away, I don’t even know how. That they appreciate that they can be there, and if their health permits, that they stay with biathlon as long as possible.
And a last message to the fans?
I want to thank everyone for the support I have received for years. They have lasted a lot with us, even if they have been generous for years, but also less good in results. It was quite a great ride.