The grandeur of the Games stunned Olympic biathlon debuts Tereza Voborníková and Milan Žemlička. The tracks will be heavier than they appear due to the higher altitude, and Voborníková regrets that he will not attend Friday’s opening ceremony in Beijing. Czech Hope also complained about the monotony of the menu at the game venue.
Twenty-one-year-old Voborníková and Žemlička, who is four years older, were the last to be nominated, the fifth members of the Czech team and are experiencing the Olympic atmosphere for the first time.
“I’m excited, everything is spectacular,” Voborníková said in an online interview with journalists. “First impressions? They are a little different than I imagined. At first I didn’t realize what it all meant. The organization is great. In China, it suffers, it takes your breath away,” added Žemlička.
Compared to the Biathlon World Championships or World Cups, the biggest difference is that athletes from different industries meet. “You won’t see them anywhere else after the bunch, but I often don’t know them through respirators,” Voborníková recalled the necessary restrictions imposed on coronavirus.
They have already completed their first trainings on the tracks at an altitude of about 1700 meters above sea level. “They look very nice and will be much heavier than they seem,” said Žemlička. “They are prepared perfectly. I have not seen this wide, but the snow is very slow, which makes driving difficult,” said Voborníková.
The wind is another inconvenience on open plains without trees. And his gusts will be reflected in the performances at the shooting range. “It’s not covered, so it will be very interesting,” Voborníková nodded.
The biathlon program of mixed relay games will start on Saturday. Neither Voborníková nor Žemlička should intervene in the race. However, none of the biathletes will attend Friday’s opening ceremony. “Unfortunately, I’m very sorry, but in the current situation it is not possible otherwise,” Voborníková understands why they will not travel from the mountain resort of Changjia-Chou for three hours to Beijing and back.
Voborník’s fight for a nomination in early January almost thwarted a positive coronavirus test. “At the same time, I didn’t see my grandmothers or anyone over Christmas. I went to Austria and eliminated contacts with people, and ended up in quarantine anyway,” she recalled. He eventually joined the team. “I prayed it would work out. Maybe the third dose (vaccination) before Christmas saved me.”
He doesn’t know yet if he will get a chance to show his art at one of the races in the Olympics. “We haven’t talked about it yet,” Voborníková said. He also has a textbook with him in China. “The semester ends in April, I had to. I should definitely start, maybe I can do it,” said a student of Regeneration and Nutrition in Sport at the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University in Brno.
So far, she herself has a bit of a problem with nutrition at the Olympics. “The food repeats a lot. Maybe it will change. If it is the same for three weeks, I will go crazy,” Voborníková said. On the contrary, her colleague Žemlička is satisfied. “Asian cuisine is my favorite, so I handle it well,” he said.