With her own rhythm, the Belarussian biathlon star eased to her third victory at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games by winning the 12.5-kilometer mass start race on Monday, completing an unprecedented haul of three gold medals in women’s biathlon at one Olympiyad.
“Maybe it’s strange, but I don’t feel like I’ve done something special,” Domracheva revealed to reporters. “I just tried to enjoy myself and I did my race with a laugh. But for sure, it’s amazing.”
She went on, adding on the press conference: “I am thankful to the people who support me. Without their support it’d be harder.”
The Olympic champion also spoke of the incredible support of the whole Belarussian nation: “I was hearing ‘Dasha, Dasha’ from the tribune.”
“Russian family, Belarusian family. All these nations, Russians, Belarusians, we are like brothers and sisters. For me, I feel this country is really native for me,” she added.
Domracheva’s dominance undoubtedly meant that her rivals could think only of silver.
“I thought she was going to win today, she was so strong in the last races I did not believe somebody could be faster than her,” said Soukalova, whose mother Gabriela Svobodova won silver at the Sarajevo Games in 1984 as a cross-country skier. “I didn’t race against her today, I thought it would be better to race with just myself.”
It was Soukalova’s first Olympic medal. “I hope my mother is going to be happy that I am now as successful as her,” the biathlonist admitted.
Norwegian Tiril Eckhoff won the bronze, 27.3 seconds off the pace, after outsprinting German Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle in the final straight, reports Yahoo! News.
“She is amazing,” Eckhoff said of Domracheva. “She skis like a dancer. It’s really deserved, these three golds. She has been amazing here.”
The champion liked the comparison. “To be honest I really like to dance, it’s my second favorite occupation,” Domracheva said with a smile.
Several athletes, including Norway’s favourite Tora Berger, crashed on extremely soft snow following a day of fog and light drizzle.
“In the last loop, I just thought I had to stand up in the (downhill) curve because I had seen Tora had fell down in that descent in the first loop and she is a good skier,” Eckhoff told a news conference.
However, Domracheva wasn’t the one to bring gold to the Belarussian team. Later in the day Anton Kushnir demonstrated a stunning jump to run away with the freestyle skiing aerials gold medal by the astonishing margin of 24.09 points at the Sochi Olympics on Monday.
“This was my dream from childhood and I’m really happy I was able to achieve it,” he told reporters.
“From the start the plan was to do that jump in the super final. We’ve been preparing it for a long time, since 2009. I thought it might go well and it did.”
“I felt the support of so many people here and I would like to thank all of my fans and everyone who was rooting for me. It did feel almost like home,” the champion said.