Sebastian Stalder is a Swiss biathlete from Wald. The 22-year-old started biathlon in 2012 and made his debut on the World Cup in 2018. Last season he competed in the Junior Cup, the IBU Cup and the World Cup. His best result came at the Junior World Championships where he took the bronze medal in the individual race.
Follow Sebastian on Instagram: sebastianstalder
Why did you become a biathlete?
I was a cross country skier until I was 14, then I tried something new and I was talented in shooting. At 16 years old I had to decide, biathlon was way more interesting for me, so my decision was correct. Sometimes I miss racing in classic technique, but I’ve never regretted changing.
You won the bronze medal in Lenzerheide in the individual. Tell us about the race and what it was like to get a medal at your home track?
It was a very special day, there were so many people and it was freaking loud on the whole track. I never saw something like that before. In the last standing shooting I missed one shot, but the whole audience cheered for me on the last lap, so I got strength again for the last uphills until I was across the finish line. I was very happy about this third place and I finally won a medal at a junior world championships.
How do you assess the rest of last season? What was good and what was bad?
It was an up and down. There were some good races but also bad ones. My personal highlight of this season, was the WC relay in Nove Mesto. It was my first World Cup relay ever and I had to start on first position for team Switzerland. My prone shooting was one of the best I’ve ever done and for a few seconds I led the race. At the end the Swiss team finished in 9th position.
How do you feel about the IBU Cup now starting in January? Do you have to change your preparations/training for the season?
I won’t change my preparations. If I’m in good shape in November there is a chance to start in the World Cup. If not then there are some small competitions called “Alpencup”. I would start in this series until the IBU Cup starts.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My biggest strength is maybe my shooting, it’s not always perfect but mostly the targets get clean.
But sometimes the shooting is also my weakness, I want to do it much too fast and then you can see me in the penalty loop.
What are your goals for this season?
I want to be a part of the Swiss World Cup team, do some good races and catch some World Cup points.
Who is your roommate on tour and do they have any bad habits (eg. snoring) or good habits (eg. tidy)?
It’s different, sometimes I’m with Nico Salutt and the next time with Sandro Bovisi.
One of them can play guitar very good but he is talking at night. The other is snoring when we take an after lunch nap (only then), but for that he’s more orderly than the other.
You are having a dinner party with 3 other biathletes. Who would you invite and why? What’s on the menu?
Many of us live in Lenzerheide, when there is enough time, we try to cook together once a week. So mostly we are about 6-8 persons. The menu is different, but often we eat Fajitas, because everyone likes it and it’s easy to serve.
What are your hobbies?
Trying new things on my rifle to get faster on the shooting range and netflix.
Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?
Of course Lenzerheide, the track includes everything. I like the shooting range and I did some good races there.
Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?
Johannes Thingnes Bø, he is simply a great sportsman on and off the track.
Does your rifle have a name?
No, but I built it myself.
Describe yourself in three words.
Ambitious, quiet, always motivated
Quick fire choices:
skiing or shooting? shooting
prone or standing? prone
against the clock or head to head racing? head to head
uphill or downhill? uphill
morning or night? morning
sun or snow? snow
roller skiing or cycling? cycling
alcohol or chocolate? chocolate
Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!