19. 2. 2013

Behind the track: Johanna Talihärm "Sochi was only a dream, now it is reality"

3... 2... 1... smile                                                                                                   
...there is an extraordinary Estonian girl on the track! Talented biathlete, potential actress, big friend. Always smiling on her fans and enjoying every biathlon moment. Meet her and you can smile at her back in every race. Thanks Johanna Talihärm for a very nice talk. Exclusively and with a smile.

- I wanted to be an actress, and I even promised that I will try to candidate to acting school. Well I haven’t done it yet, but I still have a chance.                                                                                                 

- My mom was a biathlete, but never on top level and when I was 13 I had no special hobby or sport what I did, but I was active and I liked long distance running so mom offered me to try cross country skiing under the same coach she had. And after 2 years my cross country coach’s husband offered me to try biathlon. Then for few years I have been doing both, actually this is first year that I haven’t started in cross country race (yet). When I was chosen for Junior Championships team in Torsby 2010 and then raced in Otepää U26 EM I understood that biathlon is so interesting and will be my priority.

- I like to see my improvements and I just enjoy training. It is not hard to do what you like most. I can see that it is possible to do it better, and I work to achieve it.

- Each race is a bit special for me. I try to take them as lessons to learn and experience something new every time. But I hope my very special race is still coming, when I can combine perfect shooting and best ski form at the right time.

- These were my first World Championships and of course I enjoyed it. I liked how Nove Mesto's stadium has been improved, it felt like football arena. I have never heard so much noise on biathlon stadium. It was Also great to hear so many fans cheering not only athletes from their home countries, but everybody very passionately.

Enjoying Obertilliach with Dasha Yurlova, Grete Gaim and Martin Kiho

- I was able to start only in sprint at the Junior World Championships, because after that I got seriously ill and spent whole week in bed with angina. It was so sad to let my girls (Grete Gaim and Daria Yurlova) down in relay. We had dreamed about this race for 2 years and then I had to watch it from the side of the track. I was already feeling good but I had antibiotics so I still couldn’t race. I like Obertilliach, it is beautiful place, but unfortunately I have to say that this time I couldn’t do that.

- Before this season Sochi was only a far dream, which seemed impossible. But now I can see it as reality and I'm waiting it already. It will be really special, I hope!

- Oberhof is a bit special for me. There was my first World Cup race last year in relay, my best result in World Cup (51. position in sprint) and first pursuit race.

- I want to improve my shooting to the top level next summer. When I started this season I was for long the worst shooter in my team. (I still am the worst, but now others are not far ahead any more). And I'm looking forward to hard trainings, because I like to push myself and see the improvement.

- I am not a sleepy head. I can't sleep very long even if I would want to, but when I sometimes can sleep really long I enjoy it very much!

- I like very different kind of music, and it is mainly affected by my mood. If I had to choose one certain style I would choose lyric love songs.

- If I could be only the fan of biathlon I would choose Gabriela Soukalova as my favorite, because she is very beautiful and she seems kind and good person. I like how she is purely happy after every good race. From men my favorite would be Jakov Fak, because he seems great and funny guy and also because he represents small country. 

- I like mountain biking, hiking and downhill skiing. When I was younger I learned piano and flute, sang in the choir and dealt with acting.

- My rituals before the raceI have some warm up exercises which I do every time. If I have had a good race I used to wear same earrings or same hairstyle next time, but when it was bad one I used to change them.

- We haven’t done many bets with girls, but in summer during gym trainings our coaches thought us some funny and impossible exercises that after passing them we would be free from gym trainings until the end of the month or season. We have never passed these tests yet.

- In Estonian races our age group had same distances as men amateurs so then they compared results after race every, it was really fun and we were almost equal. But in top level I don’t think women are able to be so powerful on tracks, that they could be enough competitive in men's category. If somebody offered me a chance to start with men to see how many of them are worse than me, I would use the chance to try beating them...

Interested in Johanna? Visit her official blog:

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