Leandro Lutz was born on the 5th of January 1982 in Brazil. He is a biathlete and also a cross-county skier (well everyone makes mistakes!) He currently competes in both disciplines and in biathlon he made his debut on the IBU Cup in 2009.
Follow Leandro on Twitter: @leandrolutz
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A biathlete from Brazil! How did that happen? Tell us how you discovered biathlon and why you became a biathlete?
It all started a long time ago. I was a road cyclist in Europe at the beginning of the 2000s and saw the guys training for cross-country skiing during the cycling off-season to keep fit and it caught my attention. But I kept cycling and just tried cross-country in 2008 when I was cycling training in Germany. After that I returned to Brazil (2009), contacted our Snow Sports Federation (CBDN) and started training with roller skis by myself. That year I did some tests at CBDN and since them I have been part of the Brazilian Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Teams and I started racing in our Austral Season in July/August 2009.
Why a biathlete? Because it unites two opposing sports and combines the endurance sport (which I always practiced) and the precision sport (where the mind is very important). And of course, it’s extremely challenging.
Do you get any support from any sport institutions in Brazil? How do you fund yourself?
I have some support from CBDN and the Brazilian Ministry of Sports.
Also from my great partner Team Out There (Bjorn and Kris Hanson), a sports project from a family business (outthereshop.com) in Rice Lake-Wisconsin(USA) that helps athletes from all over the world (XC, Biathlon, Ski Jump and Nordic Combined) with sponsorship, contacts, promotion, gear and other means.
And of course my family helps me a lot. Here in Brazil I’m a lawyer and I worked really hard planning and saving money for my journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Now I’m a full time athlete thanks to the hard work that I did some time ago.
Can you tell me about last season, what races did you take part in and what results did you get?
My last season was really good with some personal bests and good times on snow. I did the first 3 IBU Cups (Idre, Ridnaun and Obertilliach) and after that I focused on cross-country training and races (my main goal for the 2018 Winter Olympics).
What are your plans for summer training?
I’m looking to spending more time in Europe training with top athletes and enjoying more time on snow. Also, I hope to go to the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships in Otepää.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths: My endurance and focus.
Weaknesses: My technique and efficiency (it was not easy to start alone).
What are your goals for this season?
For biathlon I probably will race IBU Cups 4, 5 and 6 and the European Championships, hoping for below 200 points.
For cross-country my goals are qualifying for the 2017 XC World Championships and “B” Olympic Criteria with lots of personal bests.
Who has been the biggest inspiration or supporter of your biathlon career and why?
My family for all their support and my 2nd family Bjorn and Kristin Hanson for their vision and love of sport.
Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?
Obertilliach. It used to be our base in Europe and it was my first track in Europe, I think I know every inch of it!
Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?
Bjoerndalen, he is the King!
Does your rifle have a name?
I just call it “my Izhmash” and it’s left handed.
Describe yourself in three words.
Focused, hard worker and determined.
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): Italy
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Germany
Favourite shooting range: Obertilliach
Lucky bib number: 22 (23-1) 😉
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Karoly “Charlie” Gombos
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Christofer Eriksson,Pietro Dutto and Tobias Arwidson.
Best thing about being a biathlete:The challenge, the atmosphere and the big biathlon family.
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