10. 12. 2012

Behind the track: Agnieszka Cyl "I train with passion"

Strong teammate...  
...and kind person. Imagine you are young and you have trainer with so passion, enthusiasm, empathy, experiences, and rich career. You know, If I was a kid I would be really proud of her. Maybe as proud as now when writing these words.
So I'm proud to present you not only talented biathlete but also the possible trainer of next biathlon talents. Thanks Agnieszka Cyl for this nice exclusive interview.

Sprint, Individual, Pursuit... there are many competitions for biathletes. Do you have a favorite one?
     "All kinds of runs are incredible for me. I love direct competition during pursuit or mass start, amazing speed in sprint and relay and I also appreciate calm and stamina during individual."

So which biathlon success of your career do you appreciate most?
     "The most of all I appreciate 7th place at Olympics in Vancouver, 6th place from sprint at Presque Island. Then 3rd and 4th place from relay that are also important for me."

The new season is underway. Which World Cup place or which World Cup stadium of this season is special for you or is your favorite?
     "Pokljuka is still the best, the most beautiful, my favorite."

Is your family travelling with you during the season? Who is your biggest fan?
     "Unfortunately, only my husband travel with me but when competitions take place in Poland my family and friend try to be with me. My best fans are my husband and my niece Kinga. My family and friends are also my faithful fans, I don’t present all of them because it is too much to write."

You love music... do you listen to the music right before the race just to get to the right mood?
     "Before start, when I am in arena, music is with me very rarely. But in my room I use to listen to the music with volume and style that is harmonized with my mood."

Agnieszka loves working with children and wants to have her own Kindergarten

We remember Olympic Games in Vancouver - especially the closing ceremony - it was one big party with many concerts. How did you enjoy it?
     "Unfortunately, I couldn’t be neither at opening nor closing ceremony."

Is there any show or concert you want to see in your life?
     "This year, I managed to visit two concerts of my best bands: Myslowitz and Happysad. Unfortunately I wasn’t on Muse, I lost the concert in November, but maybe they will be back in Poland during the spring and I’ll be able to participate in their show."

Olympic Games in Sochi. Are you looking forward? What are your ambitions?
     "Sochi is the necessary aim, my work is oriented exactly on Olympics in 2014. As an athlete my ambition is to gain a medal."

Agnieszka with her teammates and friends Monika Hojnisz and Krystyna Palka

What do you think about the idea of Olympic Games 2022 organizing by Poland and Slovakia?
     "I have nothing against this idea. I think Slovakia is able to co-organize Olympics with good standard. Additionally I would be close to watch some competitions."

Another thing you love is sleeping. Have you ever slept for the training?
     "It’s true I love sleeping. I always sleep after training, it’s the best relax for me. I sleep between trainings, at least one hour to 3 hours. I'm trying to sleep as much as my body needs and I'm adjusting sleep time to trainings."

What except biathlon and sleeping is your favorite activity?
     "All kind of physical activity, for example team games or swimming. I like spending time with my friends in mountains, by the sea or just playing cards at the table. Working with children is always pleasure for me, even when I am exhausted." 

Now let's talk about physical activity in the kitchen. Do you cook yourself? What kind of food do you like?
     "In general I like eating, I think it would be easier to say what kind of food I don’t like (smiling). Of course I cook, but not during season preparations. When I am at home training, my husband cooks. He cooks with passion and he wants to be helpful for me when I train. It’s a kind of relax for him and he is much better cooker than me. However he cooks great, I bake cakes better than him."

Few weeks ago Slovak biathlete Pavol Hurajt has opened his own restaurant. Maybe this could be your plan for the future?
     "No, it isn’t my plan. I want to enlarge my family, open my own kindergarten, train and be happy."

Good idea to open a kindergarten - what about training little biathlon talents in the future?
     "I want to be a biathlon trainer."

And do you want your children to be biathletes or any other athletes?
     "If I have children I would want them to be physically fit. I would encourage them with my husband to train some sport. Not necessarily biathlon. I would give them a choice. I won’t persuade them to train biathlon. It should be their own decision what to do in their life. If they would like to train something - they should train with passion as I do."                                              


Visit the official site of Agnieszka Cyl:
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Agnieszka Cyl Page

29. 11. 2012

Behind the track: Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak “Vancouver was the chance, Sochi is a time for medal”

She earns success after success…
… bronze medal from Universiade 2009, fifth place from Olympic Games 2010, bronze medal from Summer World Championship 2011, Universiade champion in sprint and pursuit from Trentino 2013...
Ok, now you know her achievements, but what about to know her feelings and things she likes.
Meet the very nice girl from Poland Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak in this exclusive interview.   

Your 5-th place from individual race in Olympics 2010 was the best result for you and also for your country. How were your feelings after the race?
     "Well, I was very happy and absolutely not disappointed."

It would be great to repeat this success, maybe you want to get higher in Sochi...
     "Yes, Vancouver was the chance but Sochi will be a good time to achieve medal."

Weronica achieved great result in Olympic Games 2010

Is Whistler Olympic Park in Vancouver your favorite stadium thanks to this success? Or is there any other biathlon stadium you like most?
     "Of course I like the stadium in Vancouver but I must say my favorite is Antholz. I like the tracks, shooting range, nice atmosphere and wonderful views. Also weather is usually very nice there."

Who is your usual roommate when you travel for World Cup races?
     "I live with Monika Hojnisz, the youngest from our team and I like it very much."

Tell us about your other favorites. What do you like to do most when you have free time?
     "Usually I don't have a lot of free time, but the most of all I like to spend it with my friends and family. I like also reading books and my biggest hobby is travelling." 

Do you like football? Have you been watching Euro 2012 that Poland co-organized with Ukraine?
     "I don´t like football so much but of course big events like Euro I usually watch."

Where except Duszniki-zdroj can we meet you relaxing and enjoying free days?
     "As I said before I like to travel very much and I just love to discover new wild places. But spending time in my beautiful hometown is also very nice."

Sure you must be very famous in your hometown. What famous person would you like to meet in your life?
     "I would like to meet Dalaylama and talk with him, this is my dream. But generally I like to meet new people, each human is a new story..."

Weronika loves to discover new wild places. In Thailand with her biathlon friends Katja Haller, Dorothea Wierer and Eva Tofalvi

What is your favorite food and drink? 
     "After my last journey to Thailand I like spicy Thai dishes but also Italian kitchen is very tasty for me! And Sushi is also something what I like."

Do you cook yourself? Do you like it?
     "Cooking? I like preparing meals but unfortunately I have not so often an opportunity to do it."

Have you ever been involved or asked for being the face of some brand? Can you imagine of being a model?
     "No I haven´t and honestly I have never thought about it. Probably it's easier than doing biathlon :)"

How do you see your future once after retirement? Will you stay with biathlon or do you have any other plans?
     "I have many plans. I want to have a family-that's for sure and I want to stay connected with sport. Maybe I will be coaching maybe I won’t...we will see what life will bring.

18. 11. 2012

Behind the track: Terka Poliakova “All biathletes dream of Olympic Games, so do I”

What a newcomer…
You can watch her on the tracks in her first World cup season trying to do her best. Go on and keep cheering! But maybe you will have the reasons to cheer more when you meet her behind the track in this exclusive interview. I think it´s a good idea, isn´t it?
I´m proud to present you the young talented Slovak biathlete – the rising star Terezia Poliakova.

Why biathlon? What fascinates you most about this sport?
     "Most of all shooting, because it is not easy to go through it in ordinary life. And of course the harmony of running and accurate sight."

Do you have any biathlon idol or any other idol?
     "I have many favorite athletes but I have never thought they could become my idols. So I must say I haven´t any."

Favorite biathlon competition?
     "Again I haven´t any, every day and race is different as well. Once you achieve good result in sprint another time in individual race."

In the new season you will be the part of top Slovak women team for the World Cup. How was your summer training camp? Do you feel in good shape?
     "We were traveling a lot in summer, our second home became Osrblie and Obertilliach. I think the training was really hard but I don´t know if it led to the right shape – we will see in winter."

Any tip for the winner of the World Cup?
     "Anyone of the TOP 30 biathletes could win in biathlon, that´s why I like this sport too. No one has certainty as a winner, so I dare not say who it could be."

How did you enjoy 3 biathlon medals from the Olympic Games in Vancouver 2010?
     "Sitting by the computer and television - screaming and cheering as loud as it was possible."

Were those results your motivation for the trainings - the motivation for standing on the Olympic podium once?
     "Of course it motivated me. Every athlete dreams of the Olympic podium and these medals convinced me that also biathletes from small country just like Slovakia could win."

Shooting is one of the reasons why Terka loves biathlon

Sochi 2014. What does it mean to you?
     "Surely I would like to compete there and I would like to achieve some good result. Olympic Games are my big dream."

Do you like travelling? Do you have a favorite place or is there any place you want to visit once?
     "I like to travel although I don´t like spending time by travelling, especially 8 or 9 hours in car. But I like to meet new countries and new people. I haven´t any favorite place, I would like to visit places that are beautiful and could be interesting for me for some reason."  

Who is your usual roommate when you travel for racing and training camps?
     "I use to live with Lucia Šimova most but I have very good relationship with all girls from our team. It is important that we understand each other and we are very good team especially in winter when we are out of our homes."

Biathletes can´t race with music in their ears. But do you like to train with music? What kind of  music is it?
     "In the past I used to train with music all the time but I realized I didn´t concentrate on my moves. These days I use my headphones mainly when I want to relax or to change my thoughts when something fails. Of course the music must be fast to energize me."

Enjoying mountains with her friend and teammate from Slovak team Lucia Šimova

Your favorite activity when you are not doing biathlon?
     "I tried the mountain climbing last year and I liked it very much. And I use to ski in my free time since I was a child. But when I have free time after really long time my favorite activity is lying and watching a good film."

Can you imagine what would you do when biathlon didn´t exist?
     "I would do some other sport for sure but I don´t know what kind of sport, because thank god biathlon exists." 

28. 10. 2012

Behind the track: Laure Soulie ”I am proud to represent Andorra”

The big heart from the small country…
Just between Spain and France in the mountains of Pyrenees. In Pas de la Casa. Proudly wearing letters AND in every race. Got it? I think so! She left one of the biggest biathlon nation to run the new in her country. What a courage!
It´s nice to to know you Laure. And I am sure it´s nice to know you by all the fans and readers of this exclusive interview.

It will be the 4-th season you don´t race for France anymore. Why did you choose representing your birth country Andorra?
     "I was born in Andorra, I had been going to school there, but my mother was French, so as a young girl I had two nationalities. When I was 15 years old I chose to go to French Alps for a sport studies. Then I had been competing 5 years for the French team. One day, my birth country Andorra proposed to me to change my federation. Until that day biathlon has never existed in Andorra. I wasn't ready yet, but one year after I started to think about it and I made a decision. I wanted to represent my little country in the new sport. And I´m proud of it."

But you still train with the French team, don´t you?
     "First 3 years I have been training alone, in spring and in summer in Andorra and the rest of the year I had an apartment in the Alps. During the winter the French team accepted me in the team. It was a big chance and I´m lucky to benefit their huge structure and people qualified. Last summer was the first year that I did all the training camps with the girl´s A team. It was very good opportunity."

Year 2006 - Presque Isle. You won bronze medal in relay. Do you remember what were you thinking immediately after the results?
     "It was my first Junior World Championships and it was unbelievable because it was in other continent and I ran the relay with 2 best friends that are still my best friends until now. This day will stay in my mind as a beautiful friendship experience."

How did you celebrate this success?
     "It was simply celebration, on the podium and at the first press conference. We were very exciting and touched. I have good memories about this American week."

If you could form your own dream relay team, whou would you choose?
     "I would choose my best friends Marie-Laure Brunet, and Marine Bolliet, because for me it is important to have a good cohesion and atmosphere in the relay team. And I will choose also Raphael Poiree because it was my idol when I was young and I like his personality as a coach until today."

Training with her best friends Marie-Laure Brunet and Marine Bolliet

Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi. What are your emotions? Will you be there?
     "I hope so. It’s my first dream and goal but I have to think about next season too."

What must have a stadium for biathlon racing to become your favorite?
     "I like most of the stadiums I have raced in, it’s difficult to choose one of them! But I´ll tell Antholz for the beauty of the sight and lots of people, Oberhof for the crazy atmosphere. From IBU Cup stadiums I like Martell very much, but it’s really not a easy to race there because of lot of wind, But I like that place - the track and the altitude there."

Enjoying high peaks of Nepal

Do you like summer biathlon on roller skis?
     "I like it because it’s a main way for training, but in summer I prefer to running in the mountains. For me it is better than to turn over and over on the road."

Can you imagine summer biathlon as a part of summer olympic games? You
would be one of the athletes who participated in winter and summer Olympic Games.
     "Maybe one day it will be true, we don´t know, remember the climate changes etc. But for me I won't like this new sport, because what I like is the skiing sensations. I train only for this reason, it’s incredible to be on the snow track."

I guess you like to travel all around the world.  What is your favorite place you have been to and what is your dream place?
     "In winter we have opportunity to travel during 4 months, but we see only few places and we don´t have time for visiting other places. It’s different when you travel by yourself. Last spring I spent 1 month in Nepal for holiday and it was the most beautiful travel in my life. Very relaxing and beautiful. I have climbed the peak and I feel the freedom there."

Laure loves running in the mountains

Do you want once your kids to become biathletes?
     "No. All I want to show them is the nature and sports, but what is most important I want them to find their own passion and to work hard to reach it. It couldn´t be especially in any competition."

Once when you retire, can you imagine you would travel to all the places and stadiums all over the world again as an ordinary spectator and feel the atmosphere from the other side?
     "Of course! I will watch and follow biathlon for sure, and if there still will be some friends of mine competing, I will choose one place in the winter and I will go on the other side of the track." 

13. 10. 2012

Behind the track: Krystyna Guzik "My goal is to win the Olympic Games in Sochi"

The number one...
She really is! In the Polish biathlon team. Last season she reached 17-th place in the World Cup and she wants to be better. To get higher, to achieve big results.
It was very nice talk. Thank you Krystyna Guzik. You can meet her too in this exclusive interview. 

Last season was the best in your career. What are your expectations for the new one? To be the number one in your team again?
     “Yes, last season was the best in my career. I had a lot of good competitions and also a lot of possibilities to be on the podium. I know that I can be really good. I work hard for that goal. Every year I try to change something to become better in competitions. I think this year could be better too. I had a lot of good work this summer. But who knows? Let´s see in winter."

Were your training camps so good this summer? Do you feel strong for the races?
     “This summer I had many training camps with many hard trainings. But In May I broke my foot during one basketball game, I had to go on surgery so of course I miss some of them. While rehabilitation my training was only riding my bike because I couldn´t do anything else. But time passed really fast. Thanks to my really good physiotherapist that worked with me every day so I was back in hard trainings really fast. Anyway I feel that I am stronger and ready for new season.”

You know how it feels to win gold medal, you have one from junior championship. But if you could choose medal from the big senior event, what would you like to win most? World Cup, World Championship or Olympic Games?
     “I would like to win Olympic Games. This is my biggest dream. But of course it would be great if I could win any race of World Cup or World Championships. But to make it happen there is really a long and hard way to go. But I like this way.”

So you looking forward to Olympic Games in Sochi and you have big ambitions…
     “Yes, I am looking forward to Sochi. I´m focusing on that and I think this will be my last Olympic Games. But I would like to go also to Korea 2018, but who knows because I will be just too old. Anyway Olympics in Sochi are now in my mind. My ambitions are always big and my goal is the gold medal. But I will be also happy for silver or bronze. Olympic Games are the most important competition for me. When I was 15 years old I have always been dreaming to go to Olympic Games. My dream came true 5 years later in Torino 2006. And my 5-th place there was great result for me. There I got new dream and it is with me until now.”

She feels every support from fans

Maybe you will achieve the medal in relay. Anyway, if you could form your own relay dream team, who would you choose?
     “I was always dreaming about having strong relay team. It´s easy to choose perfect strong team with the best athletes. But I am happy with my national relay team. Every year we make some step to be better. We have the chance to be really good."

What about biathlon fans in Poland? Do you think biathlon is popular in your country?
     “It is popular but not so much as in Germany. But every year we get more biathlon fans. In Jakuszyce we will have new biathlon stadium in the future. I think it will be really big and great and we will get also big events there. But right now we need to have some good results to make biathlon more popular in Poland."

Maybe achieving the medal?
     “I think yes. This is the first point to make biathlon more popular in Poland. I think that women team is on a good way to make it real. But this have to be only in Winter Games, World Championships or World Cup. I mean big event.”

Mountains are Krystyna´s big love

It´s a shame that there is no big biathlon event in Poland. But if the there was World Cup or World Championship, biathlon would be more popular too.
     "Yes. If we have some big event in Poland like World Championships then I think biathlon will be more popular. But for now we had only summer World Championships which were in 2010. Popularity is one the reason that we haven’t enough good biathlon stadiums In Poland. But after World Championships in Duszniki our stadium looks better every year. This is good for us because we can also have really good training camp there."

Is there any World Cup place or stadium – the special for you – that you feel more power, more emotions, more support from fans?

     “Every biathlon stadium has something special and brings different emotions. And no matter what stadium, supporting from fans is always with me. But if I had to say which stadiums is the special for me, then I can say that Turin- San Sicario and Vancouver- Whistler. These are the stadiums which gave me a lot of emotions and which were the special for me."

Krystyna works hard to achieve her goals

Tell us something about your favorites. What do you like to do most when you have free time?
     “Hmm, there are a lot of things. I am kind of person that always must do something. Most of the free time I study medicine and read some books. Also cooking. Maybe I don´t cook often but I really like to do it. I also have 2 big dogs which I love to play with. When I am at home then I always spend a lot of time with them."

Is there any other sport that you like?
     “Lots of other sports. Biathlon is my passion my life and my work, but I like to do some other sports too. I haven’t much time for other kind of sports because of biathlon but the rest of the time I like to play tennis, golf, I like skiing, swimming , fitness etc. And I also like all motorsports too. I love speed, fast drive and to make some crazy things. I also love mountains, just walking and trying to reach the top..."

What about football? Have you been watching EURO 2012 that was in your home country?
     “Yes I watched them all. But only on TV because I was on training camp. I couldn’t be  in Poland and watch it live. I was with our team. They were not the best but the Championship won my favorite team (Spain)"

The whole season is about mountains. Do you like relaxing by the sea?
     "I prefer mountains. But sometimes it is good to relax by the sea. For me it is not so easy to relax there. I always search things that I can do there. Of course I love relaxing too but most of the time I spend in water - swimming and doing all kinds of water sports."

Sport is sometimes about betting. What about betting in your team? Are you doing some bets before races? Maybe about changing hair colors etc...
     "Usually we never make some official bets in our team. But sometimes there are some funny bets and of course about changing hair colors too. But more often about something funny to do. But I can’t tell you about it :) "