Do you remember? When Martin Fourcade brought French biathlon to the fore

We didn’t expect this. In any case, not before. Big Crystal Globe of Quentin Fillon-Maillet in biathlon after the hegemonic season marked by this fantastic Olympic interlude. From Martin Fourcade in text. Something we thought we would never see again after the boss was out of the sport for at least a generation or two.

But let’s face it. Whatever happens until the end of QFM’s career, whatever the future successes, the emotions produced and with all the great respect for him, Fourcade will remain Fourcade. The one that we have been accompanying for the last decade, and the one who forever established biathlon in the scenery on 20 minutes. The question of results is very much, and personality too.

Frostbitten legs, then sinusitis in Sochi

For accompanying him, we accompanied him, Martin. Sometimes too long. Well, in 2014 we witnessed a cold snap that cost him his ambition to finish the Sochi Olympics. He contracted the nasty sinusitis after he slammed money in the mass start, freezing his feet in the mixed doubles to answer media requests. Damn journalists. If we had known, we would have abstained. Instead, the poor will end their Games on antibiotics before they can influence the relay races, the last Olympic races. Return to France with three medals, including two golds, and an already established reputation in the industry. It’s still a bit sluggish outside. We’ll have proof in a few days.

Thus, on February 23, 2014, the elevator opens to the premises of 20 Minutes, then located on Boulevard Haussmann, in Paris. Fourcade approaches, dragging his suitcase, and introduces himself at the front desk: he has to chat with readers.

– Hey.

– Hello sir, you?

– Martin Fourcade.

– What company is this for?

He will not have time to answer, we come to grab him, to take him to the editorial office. The hero of the Olympiad has never been angry: the return to anonymity does not bother him.

Superstar Martin Fourcade

It takes a little more to piss off the French champion. But not much either. Anyone who has read the biography of a biathlete knows that he listens and reads everything that is said about him in the press. And to be honest, we too had the right to see Martin slip into our private messages to put a pipe on us after a somewhat awkward wording in the newspaper, with a wet finger, dated 2016, to life in the French biathlon team. He is dry, clear, but never evil or malicious. No blacklisting or boycott on his part, Fourcade always responded to our requests as best he could. It has become a hallmark of French biathlon and a good reason to hold races week after week. Martin brings people back to 20 minuteswebsite and app together, even when it gets too easy: in 2016-17, the Frenchman ended the season with a record 14 World Cup victories.

There is then only for him. At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, this phenomenon is heightened from two perspectives: Jean-Claude Killy’s medal drop and the inability to see Fourcade at the Olympics again (the 2022 hypothesis still existed at the time). Suddenly, the editorial instructions are clear: “we make boxes for him.”

Message delivered. One day we write about a skier’s communication at the “Federer level”, the next day about his disappointment in the sprint, before finding hope again, saying that he prefers the pursuit. Ah, a little hint of past mistakes: in South Korea, where the temperature reached -20, -30 degrees, we saw the French save their champion from a cold in the mixed zone by smothering some polystyrene on Slovenian television for isolation. his legs. And, of course, we also talked about this.

Fourcade 2018 Olympics on the covers of Martin

Since the whole thing has become almost cartoonish, in the end, why not bring the idea to the end? In a fit of madness, we open Paint and turn a dozen Martin album covers into Martin. Blasphemy, which the person concerned never had against us. We always secretly hope that he had a good laugh, like the day his “Bali vacation” turned into a “Mali vacation” in our ears, causing the then press officer to taunt us and urge us to improve.

In this Odyssey with Fourcade, we will deplore its rapid decline and its completion in the shadow of Covid, never forgetting the joys and past successes. The biggest thing was to shed light on French biathlon, starting with ours.

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