This week’s young biathlete is Poland’s Mateusz Janik. He was born on the 20th of November 1995 and has already taken part in 3 Youth/Junior World Championships. His best result came last year in Presque Isle where he finished 11th in the pursuit race. He also made his World Cup debut last season and I am looking forward to seeing what he can do in Raubichi.
You can follow Mateusz on Twitter: @mateuszjnk
As a Polish sportsman did you ever want to be like Adam Malysz and become a ski jumper? Why did you become a biathlete?
Not really, of course I admire Adam Malysz for his achievements, but I never wanted to be a ski jumper. When I was 10 years old, I started skiing, but the first time when I had the opportunity to shoot, I was 13 years old. My coach took me to train with a group of biathletes and gave me a rifle. To be able to shoot it was a very cool experience, but then I didn’t expect that this would begin my adventure with biathlon. Later, I went to train with a group of biathletes and so it remained.
How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?
Of course, it is difficult to reconcile study to training, but I have my priorities: first, training, and then the rest of the things. Then I don’t have too many problems with it. Between the camps, when I have some free time, I spend it with family and friends. Of course, like anyone my age, I would like to party, but as I said earlier, “first, training, and then the rest of the things,” so after the season, I find the time for the parties with my friends.
Will you be competing in Raubichi in the World Youth/Junior Championships? What is the selection criteria for your country?
Junior World Championships in Raubichi is for me the most important race of the season, and I am mainly preparing for them. Because of the results of the previous year, I do not have to qualify for this event and for the European Championships. In Poland, about who would go to these events, depends on the qualification of the Polish Cup in biathlon, and the decision of the junior team coach.
Do you receive any funding? If not how do you pay for equipment, travel etc?
The Polish Biathlon Association finance entirely the camps, traveling and all equipment (skis, boots, poles etc.) for the Polish Junior Team, so I don’t have any problems with it.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a biathlete?
The best thing is the ability to stand on the podium. This is an incredible feeling that I can’t describe, and the worst thing is the long stays away from home, but it is not a big problem for me because I really like to stay in the camps.
If you could steal one characteristic from another biathlete, what would it be, who from and why?
I really want to have the self-confidence like Martin Fourcade. At each start he is always confident and knows what he can do. It is this characteristic which I am often missing from the competition.
What would you like to change about biathlon? (the rules, equipment, schedule etc).
I really like biathlon as it is and I don’t want anything changed, however I like the competition such as in Moscow or summer Blink Festival and it would be cool if such competitions were organized more and for more biathletes.
Who is your role model? (in biathlon or in general)
I admire Michael Jordan for his achievements and his lifestyle.
What’s your typical day like?
I get up at 7 in the morning, I do gymnastics, then eat breakfast, short break and I go to the first training. I go back, quick shower, dinner, after-dinner nap and then a second training. When I come back I take a shower, then I eat supper and after supper I have free time for surfing the internet and other things. And about 22 I go to sleep.
Do you have any hobbies outside of sport?
I play the violin in my family folk band. I also really like to listen to music.
Does your rifle have a name?
No. I think that it is not necessary.
Describe yourself in three words.
Nervous, determined and stubborn
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon track: Oslo-Holmenkollen
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Emil Hegle Svendsen
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Sprint
Favourite/best race of your career so far?: Summer Junior World Championships Tyumen 2014 Sprint race: 2nd place
Favourite food: Spaghetti Bolognese
Favourite singer/band: I like all kinds of music
Favourite film: The Expendables
Favourite sports team: Miami Heat
Favourite TV show: I don’t like and I don’t watch tv shows