Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Carin Olofsson Hoping For “Good Results” This Year

FasterSkierDecember 9, 2008

Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Carin Olofsson — Hoping For “Good Results” This Year
This article is printed courtesy of Jerry Kokesh and the International Biathlon Union. Jerry is the Director of Media and Marketing for the US Biathlon Association.

Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Carin Olofsson has modest goals for the new biathlon season, but only because she is a bit short on training. The birth of her son Liam just over five months ago cut into her preparation for this season, but not too much.

She says her goals for the year are to “do some good results and be in a good shape during the World Champs.” She added with a laugh, “I do not have the goal to fight for the total World Cup victory, for sure.”

Olofsson actually did some training until “four of five days” before Liam was born. She describes her training, “It was not so long by then—just 45 minutes. I stayed pretty fit. When there were no complications (after the birth), I could start rollerskiing about 10 days after he was born.”

Even with her limited training in the spring, she surprised Swedish Coach Wolfgang Pichler with her quick return. He commented, “We had no time to do anything special this year, but she is in good shape now. I know this.”

Of course, Olofsson has years of training base behind her. Her first brush with prominence was in 1993 when she won a Silver medal at the Junior World Nordic Championships. She competed in cross-country until 2002, and then moved to biathlon. Olofsson rapidly became one of the top women competitors on the Biathlon World Cup circuit: 2nd Overall World Cup in 2007, 3rd in 2007, and Olympic Mass Start Gold Medal at Torino.

She described why she moved from cross-country to biathlon. “I got tired of cross-country skiing, after so many years, without any better results. I had the choice to stop everything or maybe start biathlon. The training got much more fun when I started biathlon, and there was something more to do, the shooting.”

Pichler feels the move to biathlon was good for Olofsson. “She is a much better skier now than when she competed in cross-country.”

The now 35-year old Olofsson agrees, “I agree that I am a better skier now. I thought I was training very hard, but what I was doing then is nothing compared to Wolfgang’s training.”

She continues to train in a similar manner, even with the addition of Liam to her family. “My life has not been changing too much. I can do the training as I did before.” However, she adds, “It takes better planning and more time to do the basic things. Now I also have to load the baby’s things in the car when I go to train.”

Part of the extra gear is Liam’s small, enclosed sled that Olofsson pulls behind her while training some times. She said, “He likes it and usually falls asleep when I put him on the sled and it is moving.”

Full-time training and motherhood keeps Olofsson occupied these days. She thinks about her spare time, commenting, “I would like to do is relax and do some knitting. But at that time, I have other things to do like catching up with some computer work.”

Even with modest goals this year, this Olympic Champion is not quite ready to fade away. She will continue through the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. “Next year will be the final year, I think so. An Olympic medal, at least one, would be an ideal end to my career.”

A short video interview with Anna Carin Olofsson follows.

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