© Julbo / Jonas Kullman
"Balance is the key"
Since the surprise of her Olympic title in 2018, Hanna Öberg has established herself as one of the leading lights in biathlon. A complete biathlete praised for her calm approach in front of the targets, she has a talent special to the greats: her ability to outperform at the big events. Coming fourth three times in the overall standings of the Biathlon World Cup, the Swede now dreams of crystal.
The revelation of the PyeongChang Olympics
14 February 2018, PyeongChang - South Korea. Hanna Öberg was crowned Olympic biathlon champion in the individual event. With 20/20 in the shooting, ahead of leaders Anastasia Kuzmina and Laura Dahlmeier, she put down a masterful race and proved an exciting revelation for fans of biathlon. This was her first podium at the highest level, her first victory. With three respectable finishes in the other individual race formats and a silver medal in the relay, her fortnight in Korea propelled her to the top of the world rankings.
For any athlete, an Olympic title is seen as the holy grail, the ultimate goal. While we shouldn’t doubt the importance of her title (she would experience Olympic glory once again in Beijing in 2022 with her sister Elvira and her teammates in the women’s relay), her finest memory came at the World Championships a year later in Östersund. In March 2019, in front of her home crowd, she grabbed a tenacious win (she herself says she’s stubborn as a mule) and became world champion. Once again in the individual event. Once again with flawless shooting. She’s the first female biathlete to do this double, turning surprise into the ultimate win!
© Manzoni / Nordic Focus
The gift of a cool head for a winning formula
Although she’s since won in other race formats, the woman from Kiruna in Swedish Lapland has made a name for herself in the individual. The original format of the sport, and feared by some (with 15k of skiing for women, 20k for men, 4 shots and a 1-minute penalty for each missed target, the fear is understandable!), it’s thought to be the perfect race for the most complete biathletes. Hanna Öberg is definite confirmation of this idea! Stubbornly determined on her skis, what really distinguishes her is her cool head on the shooting range and her ability to seamlessly fire one shot after another with total confidence. This is what her little sister Elvira, also a Julbo biathlete, envies her for most.
To manage her emotions, Hanna Öberg, who never travels without her yoga mat, has incorporated mindfulness meditation into her training for many years. Focusing on the present moment, listening to her feelings, thinking about one thing at a time... This is also what the Swede loves in her life as a top athlete: “I like the repetitiveness, the ’sleep, eat, train and repeat’ concept.” A way of ordering things to achieve a single goal: to give the very best of yourself and to win!
© Julbo / Jonas Kullman