It’s Antholz 2023; Finishing ninth in the men’s 12.5 km event, with one penalty, is the 2002 world individual champion Simon Eder, who, by the way, took one penalty for winning this title. It’s been 21 years and Eder is still fighting for the top positions every week. During his long career, he “did it all”, achieving 462 World Cup starts 47 podiums (individual and direct), winning two Olympic relay medals, and five IBU WCH medals including a mixed relay silver in 2021. Known as one of the best The shots in biathlon, where I recently completed a series of 114 consecutive supine strokes!
After his 100th career top-ten finish ended in Chasing Antholz, Simon answered our five burning questions…and on a sixth, he revealed his perfect day off!
Biathlonworld: What’s the key to incredibly consistent shooting this season?
Simon Eder: I believe that multifactorial external and internal factors must come together. You need, for example, stable weather conditions and ammunition that will fit your weapon well. Internally, I try to balance shooting fast and not risking too much between 5 shots…and some of my results have been pretty close, so you need a little luck too!
BW: Is it hard to believe that this is the 20th World Cup season?
SE: Sure, half of my life I’ve been in a professional sport, but that’s what I really hoped for as a little kid.
BW: How do you stay motivated after so many years of high-level professional sport?
SE: I love my job and my father also had a very long career. So, for me, competing was always “normal” until the age of 40. I looked up to my father and generally to other athletes with long careers like Maurilio de Zulte, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Anders Ockland or Jaromir Jäger. In my family, I have two biathlon coaches, and they both always help me deal with the fears of a great athlete.
BW: What do you usually do to recover after a race especially on weeks like Antholz with three straight days of competition?
SE: My wife is a nutritionist and knows a lot about food, so she helps me a lot. This season the Austrian team is also working with a sports nutritionist and we have physiotherapists on our team too! Sleeping as much as possible is my personal advice for recovery.
BW: Your dad has been your coach since day one, what’s the best advice he’s ever given you?
SE: Try to stay calm in difficult situations. He lives it up more than just saying this advice. In 2017 I was sick for the whole of January, shortly before I visited the IBU WCH at home in Hochfilzen. Without him it would not have been possible to reach two medals there.
BW: Bonus question: What would you do on a perfect day off from training when you get home?
SE: I’m taking my daughter to school, sitting on my couch @ home and going for an evening walk with the family and the dog… perfect day! Photos: IBU/Cristian Manzoni, Jasmine Walter