The Belarusian biathlon queen is back in business! Darya Domracheva, the triple Olympic Gold medalist, will be back on track in women’s sprint at Oberhof on 6 January 655 days after her last World Cup start in Khanty Mansiysk in March 2015.
Ahead of the start, Belarusian spoke about her feelings, baby daughter and in an interview with IBU TV.
The most anticipated starter, Number 50 Darya ended the 2014-15 season with nine victories on her way to winning the World Cup Total Score title for the first time in the season after her record-setting three triumphs in Sochi.
Later that spring, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis and decided to sit out last season to recover from the disease and two previous very hard seasons.
She spent more time with family, initiated and promoted the “Legends Race” with retired biathlon stars at Raubichi stadium near Minsk, married Ole Einar Björndalen, added a baby daughter Xenia to the family in October and in the recent holiday season launched a sportswear collection.
Фото опубликовано Darya Domracheva (@dadofun)
How are you feeling what is it like to re-enter?
Really exciting. I am looking forward to my first race. Good feelings to be ‘back in business’, to see all the faces of the athletes and teammates, and to feel the biathlon family atmosphere again.
Obviously over the past 18 months a lot has changed. You’ve not only just taken a break from competition, you’ve got married, you have a family now. How has that changed Dasha as a person and also Dasha the athlete?
I don’t think I’ve changed so much as the athlete. I’ve got recovery powers and got hungry on the races. But, of course, I’ve changed inside because of my baby that came into this world, because of the happiness of the last year.
It’s amazing to be a mom, it’s amazing when you came back from the training and see a smile of the baby. Then all tiredness just goes away.
Do you think it’s going to be a little difficult travelling with the kid?
Of course, it’s some challenge, it was easier when you could concentrate on your training only. But now I have responsibility for the little human, and I have to organize things smarter and think about each step twice.
When I am training my baby is in the safe hands of – here in Oberhof – of my mother, and in the next stage the babysitter will come. So she is always cared about and I can be calm when I am outside.
What else did you do in those 18 months while you were away?
I continued with my training in a quiet mode. I got to meet my family more often.
One of my achievements was the launch of the sports clothers collection, made it myself. It was interesting to use my creativity in such a way. It attarcted me because I can use these clothers myself and because I am a good ‘specialist’ in sports equipment.
Do you have any expectations from the Friday’s sprint? Or do you just want to see how things go?
I think second. I will just start my race and we will see.
Women 7.5 km Sprint Competition will start at 16:15 (local time) in Oberhof on Friday, 6 January. Belarus will be represented by Darya Yurkevich (No11), Iryna Kryuko (No44), Darya Domracheva (No50), and Nadzeya Pisareva (No84).