Gabriela Koukalová won her first World Cup competition, the Pokljuka sprint in December 2012 and has never looked back. Since that time, she has claimed eleven more individual World Cup wins, two medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, World Championship Gold and Silver medals. She has become one of the biggest stars in both her home country and the sport of biathlon. Last season, Koukalová accomplished what she called, “my biggest dream,” winning the World Cup Total Score title for the first time. Koukalová has become one of the most consistent performers in sport, with just one result outside of the top 10 during the 2015-16 season. Besides being a talented athlete, she is also an accomplished singer and artist.
How did winning a Relay Gold medal at the 2009 IBU YJWCH change your life?
Before winning that medal, I did not train so much. I did biathlon just for fun, because I did not want to be fat! My teammates told me, ‘Gabi, you are the laziest person in the world. You do not train very much and you still have good results. Why don’t you try to train like us and see what happens?” I said okay and after two more season, my results got better than ever before.
You train with the men’s team; does that make you a better biathlete?
It does; training is not all about your body but about your head. It is more fun training with them; they are very relaxed and I stay relaxed. Everything that makes you stronger is good, so it was a good decision for me to train with the guys.
Did you do anything special to become such a consistently good shot?
The coaches are probably not so happy that I do not do any dry shooting; maybe not for the last two years. But when I am at training, I am there and focused, living in the moment and try to concentrate on every target. I think that is the way.
What was the key to winning the World Cup Total Score last season?
I think I am more professional than a couple of years ago. I did not visit parties like some years ago and tried to do a very good job. I think the most important thing was that I was not sick during the preparation and everything was perfect.
What is your favorite part of summer training?
I do not like rollerskiing too much; I like real skiing with snow. When I have the choice, I usually run somewhere. It is my most favorite sport.