The ex-athlete syndrome remained with the famous biathlete Ondrej Moravec after his career. That is why in February on Jizerská 50 she will only cover a three-kilometer section in a duel with long-distance skier Katery Smut. She still goes in for sports, still follows biathlon and appreciates the success of the leaders of the tiol team Marketa Davidova and Michal Krchmarzh this season.
What are the plans for Jizera Fifty?
“I think one day I will have all of Yizera. This year it is not planned at all. I believe that one day I will go to the elite, but very far… (laughs) I have to put it in a longer term plan. This is the disability of former competitors. I would like to better prepare for it, which is not possible at the moment. I would definitely agree to this. If we decide it will be next year, I will organize it a bit and do more for it so that I can feel better later on.”
What exactly does a former competitor’s disability mean?
“Disability is not the main reason why I don’t travel, but I would still like to be at home as much as possible. I have no problem with Pepa or Pavel hitting me. I would prefer myself. For example, on the first of January I went for a bike ride, because it’s fifteen degrees warm here and it’s clear. The person behind the wheel and still has a tendency to accelerate, finding that he is no longer the same as he was, so slow down. And the same goes for skiing. I have to do something to feel good. And you won’t give fifty from the sofa, it’s unthinkable. Disability is related to this. We have it in such a way that we would like to feel that it makes us happy, and without training this is impossible. You must move.
Biathlon uses shorter routes, do you believe in fifty?
“I still have the technology. Last year, for example, I rode the Krkonoše 70 with people who were still training as hell. I did not want to suffer for myself and prepared a little. I’ll chalk it up to experience. Last year, because of the seventies, I drove about 300 kilometers, this year about half, there will be no more. Once this year I went cross-country skiing to train or ski when it was snowing. Otherwise, I go out with small children, but I do go out. From first to third grade, I wouldn’t call it learning. But it’s not a priority for me.”
Do you help the biathlon club in Letohrad?
“My daughter is just at that age, she doesn’t go to the club yet, but I help there, because if I have time, why shouldn’t I go? There are few volunteer trainers, so it becomes sticky. I take her with me. She likes skiing more and more, I can see from her that she likes it. These kids are learning to ski. Preparing from first to third grade is a big difference. Some children, poor fellows, slowly cannot get up on skis, in the third grade they already walk tolerably. It takes more people to break up, and they liked it. It is necessary to interest them, and not some purposeful training at this age. I’m not even talking about shooting, it seems to start in the fourth grade.”
Will you ever shoot yourself again?
“I shot once this year. I no longer have a gun, I returned it as soon as I finished. I have stock, but not iron. I don’t shoot much.
Are you being lured away from biathlon to a more serious coaching job?
“Now I have chosen a slightly different route, our Skialpa courses for schools. The man is also in the mountains, doing what he loves. I’m relatively busy in the winter, so I can’t piece it together. In the summer it would be possible, but now I have chosen this path. I love it, I’m excited, so maybe someday there will be a big biathlon, but not in the foreseeable future.”
So is it possible in the future?
“In the long run, maybe yes, but I don’t have the education for that. When a person finishes, I think it’s good that he tries something else. Returning to biathlon would be relatively easy. I know what to do, I’ve done it all my life. There is such a challenge here that you have to learn something new, it is not always pleasant. I never did. But all the more I am pleased when it works and leads somewhere.”
Are you going to watch the Czech team at the World Championships in Nové Mesto Morave in March?
“I would like to. I haven’t discussed it yet, but I would definitely like to see them live. I still talk to some of them, but we rarely see each other in winter. I would like to see them, I say hi. When you were there twenty years, you can’t separate it and not be there at all, so I’m looking forward to it.”
What can you say about the aspirations of the younger generation?
“For Yoni (Jos Marechek), the first trimester was not very good. It can be seen that he still lacks training and experience physically. I think he is still a junior this year, so I would still give him time. It will take a year or two and I believe they will make progress. We have now seen that Giacomelo, who was just as promising, started immediately in the boys and is now in the basket or in the six. But he was also forty, thirty, then about twenty. Now it’s six. You have to hang on, these guys are definitely moving in the right direction. But the competition is still incredible and it still needs time.”
How do you assess the change in the rate of fire of Marketa Davidova?
“I look and take off my hat! I am in contact with her and what she did, I don’t know if anyone did this … Acceleration is one thing, usually two seconds, with her almost ten! I have to admit, you have to be damn brave. I remember a time when Bjoerndalen did it in doubles. Hop or Trope! He kept it for the entire season, but ended up scrapping it. I really like Macula, you can see that he knows what he’s doing. It’s not out of control, frantic, but functiol. Really a hat!
Is the mental attitude of the athlete important in such a change?
“You have to be terribly prepared for this. Even if it was five seconds, that’s a crazy amount of time. The competitor perceives time there in an extreme way, and a second seems incredibly long. And she has five of them. I don’t know how she did it and she has to teach everyone. But I looked at the times of girls, and almost all of them shoot like that. They prepared it this way and it’s very good for me.”
How do you like the performance of Michal Krčmarž, who also made it to the top five last weekend?
“I’d say excellent. It’s a lot better than last year. He did the right thing by going to Pokljuka before Christmas. He’s one of those athletes who doesn’t come into the season in great shape, I expect it to get even better. “He has a head to shoot. He knows what to do, that’s a huge advantage. But he’s a little embarrassed about the time of filming. Those people in front… Those podium fools are almost twenty, he’s in his thirties. And it’s impossible to drive ten seconds. But it’s hard change. I know exactly how he set it up and I don’t think he will change it. But it still works.”
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