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25 Jun 2018

Domracheva announces retirement from biathlon

MINSK, 25 June (BelTA) – Four-time Olympic champion Darya Domracheva announced her retirement from biathlon during a press conference held at the National Olympic Committee of Belarus on 25 June, BelTA informs.

Darya Domracheva stated that she is happy to see so many people in attendance. “It was hard for me to make the decision. I was thinking a lot and I think the time has come I dotted all the i’s. I tried to reach a compromise and balance my family and my sport career. Unfortunately, I could not find the optimal solution to marry these two important areas in my life. My decision is well-thought and a tough one. I decided to retire,” she said.

“I will never forget my time in sport. I would like to thank all those who stood by my side through all these years and helped my achievements happen: my first coaches, and even cooks at the training facilities. I am deeply thankful to my fans whose support I felt during every performance and victory. I am thankful to reporters who helped my fans and the audience enjoy my successes. I am thankful to my country because when winning I knew that these were not only my victories but the victories of the entire Belarus,” she said.

As for future plans, the biathlon legend said that she was going to take a break from that fast pace of life she has been living since she was six. “There are ideas, but it is too early to make them public,” Darya Domracheva said.

Darya Domracheva was born in Minsk on 31 August 1986. In 1990, her family moved to the Siberian city of Nyagan. First Dasha went into basketball, switched to skiing in 1992 and finally took up biathlon at the age of 13. Her first coach was Albert Musin. In 2003, when the family returned to Minsk, Darya was invited to join Belarus’ national team.

She made her junior team debut at the 2005 IBU Youth and Junior World Championships in Kontiolahti (Finland) in 2005 where she won the Sprint and the Pursuit. Darya debuted at the senior level in the Swedish Ostersund on 1 December 2006 and placed 16th place in the Sprint. In her early career Darya’s got into a few bumps in the road like cross-firing and prone/standing mix-ups in Oberhof on two occasions in 2009 and 2010.

For the first time Darya rose to the world cup podium on 16 January 2009 finishing 3rd in the Sprint in Ruhpolding, Germany. At the World Biathlon Championships the same year in Pyeongchang she set a record for winning back 48 positions in the women’s pursuit race and almost reached the podium. In the 2009/2010 season Darya Domracheva won her first World Cup Sprint in Kontiolahti on 13 March. The next day she was victorious in the Pursuit race. All in all, Darya Domracheva graced the podium 81 times: 34 gold, 23 silver and 24 bronze medals. Darya Domracheva won her first Big Crystal Globe in 2015. She won two gold, four silver and one bronze medals at the World Biathlon Championships. She also won two gold medals of the European championships and one gold medal of the Universiade.

As for the Olympic Games, Darya Domracheva started her medal count at Vancouver 2010, winning bronze in the Women’s 15K Individual. Darya Domracheva won three gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics (Pursuit, Individual, and Mass Start). For her outstanding achievements at the Sochi Olympics, Darya Domracheva was awarded the Hero of Belarus title. At the 2018 PyeongChang Games she together with her teammates won gold in the women’s relay race and claimed silver in the Mass Start.

Darya Domracheva is married to Norwegian biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. The two have daughter Xenia who was born in Minsk on 1 October 2016. Now, Darya Domracheva is determined to focus on her family.

Darya Domracheva received two degrees at the Belarusian State Economic University. In 2009 she defended her diploma on Advertising in the Tourism Industry. Two years ago she got a degree in economic law.

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