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Justus Strehlo: This is why traveling to the USA is worth the effort

Justus Strehlo: This is why traveling to the USA is worth the effort

Justus Strehlo: This is why traveling to the USA is worth the effort

After a break of several years, the World Cup finals are being held in America again. Saxony's top biathlete, Justus Strehlow, is happy to accept the pressure of travel despite the lack of interest, writes his column.

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Justus Strehlo is competing in the World Cup in the United States and Canada for the first time.

© DPA/Hendrik Schmidt

By Justus Strehlo

Soldier Hollow. I had a quick breakfast at Oslo airport for 30 euros: baguette, cinnamon roll, orange juice and cappuccino. Newly strengthened, I was headed for the ascension – my outdoor adventure could begin.


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The majority of the athletes were flown directly from the World Cup in Holmenkollen to Salt Lake City in the USA on a charter flight operated by the International Biathlon Union. Athletes from over a dozen countries together on one plane – something you rarely see. I met colleagues and opponents at the airport, and the plane was also colorful and international.

After a five-year break, racing will be held in America again for the first time this weekend at Soldier Hollow, and next week we head to Canada for the season finale. The USA is not an ideal place for biathlon, but the World Cup stops there once every Olympics. Competitions in Russia have been canceled for years due to the political situation.

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Biathlon itself is a global sport, which is why, in my opinion, we should spare no expense or effort to compete abroad. Of course, there biathlon sizes are slightly smaller than in Europe. Tickets are distributed free and the stadiums are built larger for us athletes – there is no need for a lot of space for large stands.

The trip is also special: more documents and forms had to be filled out in advance than at any other stop abroad. We had to limit ourselves when it came to luggage and materials. Almost all major countries now travel to competition sites in their own wax truck. Before the trip to the USA, the technicians had to move their candles into smaller containers to save space until they could transport them abroad.

I can deal with the time difference well. To avoid jet lag, I decided not to take a nap after arriving and instead went for a run to quickly get rid of my clothes after the long flight. Now I feel well prepared for more successful races.

Justus Strehlo From SG Stahl Schmiedeberg is currently Saxony's top athlete and writes every week about his experiences during the World Cup winter.

All columns by Justus Strehlow are here at a glance