Training with Martin Fourcade proved inspirational for France’s triple biathlon medallist Garcia

LAUSANNE, Jan 17 – French biathlete Mathieu Garcia credits an illustrious countryman for inspiring him to reach the podium three times at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games: five-time Olympic champion Martin Fourcade.

Fourcade’s brother, Simon, a three-time Olympian himself, is the French junior biathlon team coach.

Garcia, 17, was the most successful male athlete in the biathlon competition at the Les Tuffes Nordic Centre at Lausanne 2020, taking gold in the single mixed relay and bronze in both the 12.5km and mixed relay events.

In 2019, Garcia had the opportunity to train with Martin, the most successful French Olympian of all time with five golds and two silvers, 11-time world champion and seven-time overall World Cup winner.

Martin Fourcade (FRA) at Sochi 2014 | Photo: IOC

“That was a very great opportunity for me,” Garcia said. “He really taught me some good tips and I always try to put them into practice so I can improve.

“He is someone that I look up to a lot. Since I met him I would watch videos of his victories and it has really inspired me.”

Martin Fourcade at Pyeongchang 2018 | Photo: IOC

Garcia competed in four events, failing to medal in only the men’s 7.5km, in which he finished 12th.

“I would have liked to medal in all of my events but that did not happen,” he said. “Maybe it just was not to be but I do not mind. I can only be happy with what I have done.”

Mathieu Garcia | Chloe Knott for OISphotos.com

Garcia, who hopes to compete in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, reflected on what has been the experience of a lifetime so far.

“This is just an amazing time,” he said. “Just to see how the Olympic spirit works and to meet the other athletes is something really good for every athlete. It felt awesome. We had our public here to support us and it just felt like we gave them what they wanted.”

OIS agb/sw/kc/rm

By Olympic Information Service

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