Klemen Bauer: The Interview!

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Klemen Bauer is a biathlete from Ihan in Slovenia. He was born on the 9th of January 1986 and is currently in the Slovenian Armed Forces. He has taken part in 8 World Championships and 3 Olympic Games. His best individual result to date was a 4th place at the Olympics in Vancouver and in the Mixed Relay he has a silver medal from the World Championships in 2012.

You can follow Klemen on Twitter: @KlemenBauer
You can like his Facebook page: Klemen Bauer (Sportsperson)

Firstly can I confirm that you are not related to Lukas Bauer(from cross country) or Jack Bauer (from 24)?!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess you can confirm that ๐Ÿ™‚ Or maybe Jack is my unknown uncle.

You come from Ihan, the Slovanian Capital of biathlon, what’s so special about such a small place that it produces World Cup biathletes? Why did you become a biathlete?

There’s a very long cross country skiing and biathlon tradition in the local community of Ihan. The first ever cross country skiing race recorded in Slovenia was held in Ihan, more than 80 years ago. Besides that, there was the biggest indoor pig farm in Europe in Ihan, if that makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚

You are also a soldier in the Slovenian Army. Do you have many military duties or do they let you concentrate on biathlon?

Hopefully we’ll never be sent to some crisis countries on a mission ๐Ÿ™‚ As long as we only promote the Slovenian Armed Forces it is just fine. Let’s say we have some 10 days of obligations a year. In these days we just run every year’s 3 day course.

You have been suffering from mononucleosis. How has that affected you and what training have you done? Will you be able to start the season in Oestersund?

As soon as I was diagnosed with the virus, I started to cool down and faced the fact that “don’t do anything” is the best cure around. I turned it to a positive thing right away. For the first time in the past 10 years I was forced to take a one month break which I needed. After a month and a half I stared to practice slowly. All this time I was trying to stay patient. Now I’m able to increase the load every day. Hopefully there’s enough time to be ready for Oestersund.

Your best result so far was 4th place at the 2010 Olympics. What are your goals for this season? Is the main aim to get on to the podium?

After 2010 there wasn’t as much progress as I might have expected. I tried different things but just couldn’t get all the pieces together. With some extra changes this season, the goals stay the same. I’d like to improve all my best results so far and to be more constant.

You won the silver medal in the Mixed Relay in the 2012 World Championships in Ruhpolding. How was that experience and was it quite special to do it with such great teammates?

Those are great memories. Moments not to forget. Especially with the story behind it… We all know who crossed the finish line first on that day.

Describe your typical race day. What time do you get up? What do you eat? etc.

Usually the races are set later in the day, so I try to sleep as long as possible, to shorten the time before going to the venue. Oatmeal with different fruit, honey and some yogurt is my favorite breakfast meal. If there’s enough time before the start I usually go jogging and do some light stretching or activation.

What are your strengths as a biathlete and what are your weaknesses? Do you have anything that you specifically want to improve before next season?

I can be strong with a consistent high pace, long steep climbs for example. Unfortunately I’m not that fast or as explosive as some other guys. I’d like to improve my shooting statistics which I have been dealing with for my whole career ๐Ÿ™‚

Coming from Slovenia you get to have a home race every year in Pokljuka! What is it like there and do you enjoy racing at home or is it a lot of pressure?

It’s a big honour and a great feeling to have a chance to show our best in front of home crowds. Sometimes it can be tricky with some extra pressure which we usually create by ourselves. I’m proud that the organization of my home race is on a high level and the athletes enjoy it.

True or False: Kremna Rezina is the best cream cake in the world! Are you allowed to eat it when you are training/competing? I hope so!

True. It tastes great. But there are some more other tasty Slovenian cakes. Come to Bled and try it. You won’t regret it. I can afford it sometimes of course.

Does your rifle have a name?

Not really. Sometimes I call her “honey”…when my shooting performance is OK. ๐Ÿ™‚

Describe yourself in three words.

Sometimes easygoing, sometimes unstoppable, mostly a kind and nice guy, who never gives up ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon track: Kontiolahti
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Lars Berger
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Sprint
Favourite/best race of your career so far? Kontiolahti, Pursuit, 2014

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