Denise Herrmann provided the second German gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics. In the biathlon individual, the 33-year-old surprisingly prevailed against the competition. After the race, the winter athlete was overjoyed.
Was that the perfect race for you, Ms. Herrmann?
Denise Herrmann: It would be perfect with four times zero errors. But that’s not easy at the shooting range, especially after the experience with the mixed relay. But the conditions were very fair, and if you end up with gold, you can definitely say that it was the perfect race.
Has a childhood dream come true for you?
Dreams naturally grow with your successes. I knew I already had an Olympic medal, and not many can say that about themselves. I know that if I’m in good form, I’m always able to be up front. So much can happen in biathlon, and you just have to let it happen. That’s why I didn’t fly over with pressure for results or medals. I tried to just be myself.
Is the win special for you because it was the most shooting competition?
I’ve also done good singles in the past. I like tradition. I come from a traditional sport with cross-country skiing, and then I made the decision to switch to biathlon at a traditional location in Oslo at Holmenkollen. Therefore, a beautiful circle of tradition is now closing.
They finished very early. How was the half-hour wait until your victory was really certain?
That was bad. I was much more nervous then than before the competition. It’s only over when the last shot is fired. Something can always happen on an individual basis. I thought then, maybe someone else would come through with zero errors. You still have to keep the euphoria within limits. But it’s all the nicer when the race is really over.
How is it celebrated today?
I have to see what’s in store for me now. I’m not that experienced in such processes. Let’s see what’s going on at home on the biathlon and cross-country floor.
How are you approaching the rest of the Winter Games now? Do you feel liberated?
After the race is before the race. But I have to say that I did it, should give me confidence. Sometimes it’s not that easy to get your focus back out of a situation like this. But that’s a big goal for me, that I’ll enjoy it until tomorrow, but then really get back to doing the remaining races with a focus. I know I’m in a good mode. I hope I can show that one or two more times.
To person: Denise Herrmann switched from cross-country skiing to biathlon in 2016. The 33-year-old from Saxony became the pursuit world champion in 2019 and has now crowned her career with her second medal at the Winter Games. She won the first in 2014 with the German cross-country skiing relay.