Thierry Langer is a Belgian biathlete who was born in Malmedy on the 24th of October 1991. He is regular on the IBU Cup and last season raced on the World Cup for the Belgian Men’s Relay Team. Not only is he a biathlete but he also competes in cross-country skiing and is studying chemistry. It’s safe to say he is quite busy!
Like his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thierrylangerbiathlon/
Why did you become a biathlete?
When I was 14 years old a small group practised the sport already for a couple of years. I took part in the cross country events in Belgium every year so they suddenly invited me to try biathlon. That was when I tried it in a summer camp in Winterberg (Germany) for the first time. I liked the sport better than cross country skiing, athletics or football which I was practising back then. I stuck to it until now after I saw some progression and received a lot of support from my parents.
Unusually for the Belgian team you are actually Belgian! How have things changed for you with Roesch and Claude joining the team?
For me personally this is probably why I am still doing biathlon. I got new motivation to become as good as them or probably beat them one day. But also with them joining the whole Biathlon Federation became more professional every year and so did I. I learned a lot in this time and had my first professional winter season last year which was exciting.
The Relays were amazing to watch last season. What were they like from your perspective?
In Hochfilzen I was pretty nervous watching them on the warm up lap when I saw us in front. When I started my race all of this was gone. I was so focused on skiing that the crowd wasn’t really bothering me. In Oberhof it was easier. It wasn’t a new situation, so I knew what to do and I think it also worked out better for me with only one penalty loop in those special conditions.
You made the Belgian Olympic Team but for cross country skiing! How was your experience in PyeongChang?
It was amazing. I already had the chance to take part in every big event in biathlon and cross country skiing, but the Olympics were something special having every nation and almost every winter sport around. I really enjoyed the month in PyeongChang. I hope to qualify in 2022 again, but this time for the biathlon competitions.
How do you manage your season between competing on the IBU Cup, the World Cup and in cross country?
The last season was indeed a hard season. I had several weekends racing in different places which isn’t very ideal, but it was necessary to qualify for the Olympic Games. I raced for example in Campra, Switzerland, travelled seven hours after the race to start the day after in the relay in Oberhof. In the end it all worked out fine, I was fit when I had to be and I also had my best season ever but this is not for every year.
Do you think you will always do both biathlon and cross country or will you concentrate on just one sport in the future?
I will concentrate on biathlon for sure, but this doesn’t mean that I won’t compete at cross country races anymore. If there are some free weeks that I can fill with cross country races I will definitely do that.
What are you doing for summer training?
I like running, roller skiing or mountain biking. Otherwise the usual visits to the gym and the shooting range.
What are your goals for this season?
I want to get some good shooting results again this season. This is something which suffered a bit with all the cross country races. I want to repeat my 15th place at the IBU Cup again and probably get the chance to do some more World Cups beside the relay races. But in general repeating the good results of last season should be my main goal.
You also study chemistry. How difficult is it to balance studying and training? Can you make your own gunpowder? 😉
I better not tell that to anyone 😉 … but I’m more interested in waxing and the skis. This is also the topic of my Masters thesis.
After several years at the University I got used to the rhythm and how I can get free time for the sport. A huge factor is also the German system which makes it a lot easier to be flexible. After all I’m far from training like the pro’s but that’s why every training has to be effective and I think this works quite well so far.
Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?
Duszniki Zdroj, Poland. I enjoyed the track a lot during the ECH.
Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?
Raphael Poiree, he was my favourite when I was young for no reason.
Does your rifle have a name?
Describe yourself in three words.
Determined , quiet and clumsy.
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): Germany
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Anton Shipulin
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Norway
Favourite shooting range: Ruhpolding
Lucky bib number: None
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Michael Rösch
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Erik Lesser / Arnd Peiffer
Best thing about being a biathlete: Unforgettable moments during this time.
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