Biathlon, Lisa Vittozzi: “My tenacity has always been above everything”

Fresh from two difficult seasons, the last of which was initially conditioned by the coronavirus, Lisa Vittozzi, Italian biathlete of the C.S. Carabinieri, answered the questions of Biathlon Live in collaboration with Biathlon Azzurro. However, the The 26 years old looks to the future and prepares in detail the next World Cup season, which will lead to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.

Hello Lisa. We are less than 100 days before the World’s cup opening. How are you? Are you satisfied with your preparation so far?

“I’m fine, I am very satisfied with the preparation, I have changed some things about the athletic preparation and I feel better. I needed new motivations and the results are visible”.

Last season was rough as you were affected by COVID-19. What did you learn from that winter? Isn’t it in the tough moments that we learned the most about ourselves?

“Last winter was very difficult, I contracted covid in the most delicate preparation period and there were less than 20 days to go to the first race. In addition to completely losing my physical shape, I suffered a lot mentally. I have to admit it was a very hard winter mentally, but I’m proud because I never gave up even when things were bad. There have been several moments where my body and my head said to give up, but my tenacity has always been above everything.

I have learned a lot in this past year, above all that you have to listen to your body and know how to stop when the body requires it. We are not machines and I sometimes forget this”.

Last Summer, you decided to change your approach regarding shooting, to go back from the start. What’s your conclusion after the end of the Winter. Will you continue in that direction this summer?

“Last year I had to go back to basics to be able to work better on speed and precision this year. It did me good, even if last winter my shooting was below my capabilities but it is a different story because I was not in the ideal conditions to be able to express myself at best. This summer I worked a lot and I am satisfied with the result ”.

Foto: Manzoni IBU

A big season is awaiting you this Summer with the Olympics as the high point. Will your main focus be on the Olympics or will you be playing on both sides with a good general classification?

“Obviously the Olympics for me is an appointment that I really care about but I don’t want to think only about that. I would like to return to expressing myself at my best, and to compete with what I have worked on the last two summers, for me it would be important to find myself”.

A few biathletes are not thrilled to see the Games happening in China. From a general standpoint, what do you think of the Olympics? Considering the sanitary situation, stricts measures are announced

“To date the Olympics in Beijing are confirmed, they will certainly be special Olympics since covid has changed many things in our lives, but I am happy that they take place. The last two years have been difficult for everyone but I think everyone is doing their best to manage the situation, I believe that China will do the same”.

Olympics in China are probably less attractive than the ones in 2026 in Antholz. We imagine you have already marked your calendar for those ones…

“Yes, it is my long-term goal, it would be a pride to participate in it”.

Next year will see the return of people in biathlon stadiums. Did you feel affected by the lack of support during the races last year?

“I have particularly missed the support of my family and my fan club in recent years. I can’t wait for the stadiums to fill up, I miss the audience and the incredible atmosphere created by their presence is something magical”.

What do you think of the Grand Bormand stage? It’s well known for its hard conditions but also for the incredible support of the public along the track

“I’ve been lucky enough to compete twice at Le Grand Bornand and one of the things I’ve always liked is the warmth of the French public, they’ve always made me feel like one of them. Cheering for everyone regardless of the country you belong to makes the sport even more beautiful”.

This summer you work in a team with some girls of the young generation. Since you are the experienced one, what do you bring to the young generation and what does it bring you back?

“They gave me a boost of positive energy, which I needed and which I thank for it. I think I am a good example for them, sometimes without much advice you can learn a lot even by observing “.

Foto: Manzoni IBU