Laura Dahlmeier’s Olympic victories were a particular inspiration for Denise Herrmann on her way to gold in the biathlon singles in Beijing.
“It’s unbelievable that you manage to get a race like this in a nutshell, that was my big goal,” said Herrmann on “ZDF”. Four years ago in Pyeongchang, Dahlmeier and Herrmann shared the accommodation. While the Saxon 2018 was still empty-handed, Dahlmeier withstood the enormous pressure and, as the big favorite, won gold in the sprint and pursuit. She “noticed first hand” what it was like for Dahlmeier – and surprisingly did it again. “It makes me incredibly proud,” said the 33-year-old hours after her coup.
Until their resignation in 2019, Dahlmeier and Herrmann often shared the accommodation, both got along well. It was unexpected that Herrmann, after a mixed season, was actually the first German Olympic champion after her friend and won the classic over 15 kilometers. “As I perceived it, you have developed further, namely staying in the here and now, which is so important in biathlon,” said Dahlmeier in her capacity as TV expert for “ZDF”: “These are the little things that have to then you deliver. Just when the whole world is looking at you.”
Photo by Dahlmeier on the wall
A photo of Dahlmeier has been hanging in her Olympic accommodation in the mountains north of Beijing since her arrival. From the DOSB there was “decoration material with some medal winners of the last few years”, said Herrmann: “Of course it was clear who had to hang over our breakfast table.” The photo shows Bavarian Dahlmeier at one of her two Olympic victories in South Korea.
Now it was Herrmann who was showered with congratulations. “Strong! Congratulations on the gold medal,” commented national soccer player Thomas Müller on Instagram. Team colleague Manuel Neuer also joined the crowd of congratulations alongside a large number of biathletes. “You are absolutely amazing,” wrote combination Olympic champion Eric Frenzel before there was a small corona-compliant reception in the German accommodation in the Olympic village. Herrmann was greeted and congratulated with confetti, and she won’t receive her medal until Tuesday evening.
Magdalena Neuner also spoke up. “There are probably few people who can understand it so well when you become an Olympic champion. That’s when the memories and feelings came up in me too. To be able to say you’re an Olympic champion, that’s something great.” , said the two-time gold medalist from 2010 in Vancouver in an interview with “Münchner Merkur” and “tz”: “You saw the pictures of how Denise cried after the first interviews. All the dams broke for her – and there I have shed a tear too.”
Initial spark by Herrmann’s gold coup?
Herrmann’s success could now be an initial spark for the whole team. “Such a sense of achievement is sure to give you a boost. If it continues to work so well, then I’m sure that our women will still do really good competitions,” said 34-year-old Neuner, who is now a mother of three.
Herrmann herself also has big plans for the further course of the Olympics, after all she still has four races to go. “Sometimes it’s not that easy to find your focus again from such a situation. But that’s a big goal for me,” said the ex-cross-country skier: “I know I’m in good shape. I hope so I can show you one or two more times.”