Nicole Gontier is an Italian biathlete from the Aosta Valley. The 27-year-old made her World Cup debut in 2012 and achieved her personal best result in 2015 when she finished third in the Oberhof Sprint. She has 2 bronze medals from the World Championships in 2013 and 2015 as a member of the Women’s relay team. She has represented Italy twice at the Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang.
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Why did you become a biathlete?
I started to do biathlon thanks to my father and my grandfather who were in charge of the Aosta valley biathlon and also thanks to the atmosphere and training of the coaches of Aosta valley biathlon.
How do you assess last season? What were you happy with? Was there anything that disappointed you?
Last season I was happy about my shape on skis, I had good feelings but I have to improve my shooting on the range.
The World Championships are in Antholz! How excited are you about that?
I’m really happy that the World Championships will be in Antholz. I really like there and I hope that it will be sunny and it will be perfect. The Italian ambience is the best.
The Italian women have a really strong team at the moment. What are your expectations for the World Championships in particular the women’s relay?
Yes the Italian women are really strong but for the moment I expect nothing. I prefer to concentrate on training and then I will see my shape with the first races!
What have you been doing for summer training?
In summer we train on the shooting range and with the roller ski,running,hiking and with the bike.
What are your goals for this season on the World Cup?
Like I said before I don’t have any goals. My goal is to improve myself and I work for this, then I will see in winter where I am.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strength is that my head is really hard to break so I continue to work hard also in the worst moments because I love what I do. My weakness is that I don’t really trust in me! I will have to trust more in my abilities.
What are your hobbies?
I like to read, to study, to knit and to stay with my dog! The best is to stay on the sofa with him watching the TV. I like to travel in Italy and to discover new little places and eat the special dish and drink the local wine.
Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?
I really like Antholz, it is a hard track but I had good feelings with it.
Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?
I really respect Martin Fourcade, he always has the situation under control and he does what he wants. I like so much Doro(Wierer) and Lisa (Vittozzi)! They are really strong.
Does your rifle have a name?
Ahah.. no for the moment no, we have a relationship of love and hate.
Describe yourself in three words.
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): French
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Lukas Hofer – last year’s rifle
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Italy’s suits of last year’s Championship
Lucky bib number: Mmm… I don’t have one.
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Sarah Beaudry
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Simon Fourcade (but he stopped).
Best thing about being a biathlete: We never get bored!
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