© Julbo / Jonas Kullman
"To do your best, regardless"
Twenty-fourth in the World Cup in 2020; twelfth in 2021, then second in 2022. What you might call pretty solid progress! Maybe this is because Elvira Öberg likes to go fast! You only have to look at her final laps to realize it... Whatever position she’s defending, she never gives up, all the way to the finish line. A relentless determination that has taken her to the very top of women’s biathlon. After a breath-taking 2021/2022 season, the woman from Kiruna dreams of just one thing: swapping her blue bib of best young biathlete for the yellow bib of best biathlete in the world!
In the footsteps of her sister, Hanna
When she arrived at the Biathlon World Cup in the 2019/2020 season, she was known as the “little sister of”. A label that she’s neither the first nor last to live with in the world of biathlon (for example, think the Boe and Fourcade brothers or the Semerenko and Gasparin sisters). But it’s a label that has to be mastered and eventually discarded.
For Elvira Öberg, being the little sister of Hanna, who’s also a Julbo biathlete, has never been a problem. In fact, quite the contrary. She’s always made it one of her strengths. Introduced to biathlon by their father in the small club of Piteå which he created with friends to allow Hanna to practice competitive biathlon, the two sisters experience their rivalry on the track as a great way of motivating each other, and even as a form of teamwork. For example, they shared their first joint podium in an individual race on 3 December 2020 in the sprint at Kontiolahti.
© Julbo / Jonas Kullman
One ambition: to become the best biathlete in the world
But Elvira Öberg, a lover of baking and especially kladdkaka, the chocolate cake adored by Swedes, is ambitious and wants to write her own page in the history of biathlon.
Which is what she started doing in the 2021/2022 season. From December in Le Grand-Bornand, a French stage on the calendar, she unlocked her victory counter (ending the season with 4 wins), and then continued with an excellent showing at the Olympic Games. She returned from Beijing with three medals: gold in the relay with her sister and Swedish friends; and silver in the sprint and pursuit. This season, she continues to be very fast on her skis thanks to her powerful style. But, most importantly, she’s increasing her shooting percentages.
For the woman who says she prefers the sprint because it has the least shooting, might she have passed the famous milestone of regularity behind the rifle? This certainly won’t reassure her opponents. Especially as Elvira has sent up a warning shot, saying she currently has one goal on her mind: winning the Big Crystal Globe. A logical conclusion to the record progress she’s already made!
© Manzoni / Nordic Focus