Darya Domracheva: quiet mode works into perspective

The Biathlon season has not even started yet, when the front-page news claimed that «three-time Olympic champion, the winner of the Big Crystal Globe trophy Darya Domracheva will miss the season». Ever since the experts from all over the world seemed to have given an explanation and have weighed her decision. However Darya was silent, and that’s why the «Championat» reporter decide to get in touch with the famous biathlete and ask for an interview.

- Darya, let’s cut to the chase: why did you decide to take a one year break?

- I decided to take a break in order to let my body fully recover. The preparations and the Biathlon World Cup season itself is a huge stress. When your body is constantly being subject to physical overload it starts to run out of energy, thus getting easily exposed to injuries and diseases.

- When did you realize that you needed a break?

- After the last year’s season I felt like I needed a break, however I didn’t listen to the signals my body had been giving me and shortly after holidays I proceeded to the full training. I planned to skip some events of the season, thus reducing the competition overload. Having gone to two training camps in May and early June I got mononucleosis and my body called for a pause.  

- Did you consider it as major alert?

- Well, when the doctors diagnosed the disease that was the moment I once again thought to myself that taking a break was the right thing to do.  I believe such things as one’s health shall be taken seriously; therefore it might be wise to boost the immune system and have a stress-free timeout. I hope, it will give me the opportunity to regain my strength and be fully prepared for the future competitions.

- I presume you didn’t make the decision alone… was there anyone else who advised you to do so?

- There were lots of discussions with the team's medical staff and the Chief ID (Infectious Disease) Specialists of Belarus. I also talked to the coaching staff and the federation’s management; the decision at the end was mine, and everyone was supportive. 

- Was it hard to stop yourself after such a great season?

- I have a clear understanding that if I want to compete again at a serious level my body has to be well-prepared for the upcoming physical overload and that’s why the recovery is a must for me right now. If I got back on the track right after mononucleosis recovery I’m not sure my body would be able to handle the pressure for long.  So, it was my long-term comprehensive approach. 

- Will you still be involved in the team’s life through the season? I mean, not as an athlete of course.

- I plan to start testing the skis in the winter; and obviously it will be more convenient to work with the servicemen on the same tracks where the competition usually takes place as the weather conditions are different. However, if anyone from the team needs me I’ll be there to help. We haven’t really talked about it yet but I will support the team all the way and plan to attend some of the World Cup stages as a spectator.

- Would you possibly consider spending this season as part of the coaching staff?

- No, I have no such plans.

- Obviously you would still need to stay in shape, so how often do you plan to train this year?

- I have recently started the training process but I take it easy. I’m feeling better now comparing to July when my body reacted to every set of exercises I was doing with a temperature increase. So now I’m being very cautious about it, and will continue training considering this season as a long-term preparation stage.

- In one of the interviews you mentioned that you wanted to collaborate with the experts from other sports. Are there any in particular? 

- When I get back to Minsk I’m planning to work on my training plan in detail. It’s important for me during this particular period to maintain muscle bulk and continue cyclic loading.

- This break gives you the opportunity to do the things you always wanted to do but had to postpone due to training. What do you want to do in the first place?

- I’ve already done some stuff. For example, for the first time in many years, I celebrated my birthday with my family staying for a couple of days at the Baltic seaside.

- What are your immediate plans?

- In September we will be organizing a great event called «The Legends' Race». It will take place at «Raubichi» sport complex and will gather under its roof the former biathlon stars. There is no doubt that I’ll be there to welcome them in Belarus.

- What’s next?

- There is enough room for collaboration with the partners whose brands I represent as well as for launching some interesting projects. I will keep them in secret for now, but I promise that very soon it will go public.

- After your decision to miss the season the Biathlon world immediately saw you as a sports commentator. What do you think of that?

- We'll see ... I will to some extent be in touch with the media; and out of multiple starts of the season there could be some where I can have a go at it. I’m not ruling out anything here, however it’s not my priority. I need to be well-rested to continue training, and that’s what’s important. 

(the interview was done by Nikita Kuzin, www.championat.com)