He has run 38 World Cup races, but none with spectators. Now biathlete Sturla Holm Lægreid (24) finally gets to experience thousands of people in the stands.
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When the reserve debuted at the World Cup in Czech Nove Mesto in March 2020, the corona pandemic ensured that no spectators escaped.
After 13th place in the sprint – where the 24-year-old shot 10 hits – he has run 37 World Cup races for empty stands.
The exception was during the WC in Pokljuka in February this year where 50 people from the health service got to come in and see Holm Lægreid take two individual golds (normal and joint start) and two golds in relay and mixed relay in his championship debut.
When the World Cup begins in Swedish Östersund on Saturday 27 November, the audience is back. Then there will be thousands of spectators in the stands and out on the slopes.
– It’s going to be a little weird. I do not know what the difference is, but I’m looking forward to it. The sport thrives best with the audience and the atmosphere they create, says Sturla Holm Lægreid to VG.
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The mother and father are also going to Sweden. Ingrid Kristin Holm and Tor Lægreid have not seen their son compete internationally since he participated in the European Championships in Minsk, Belarus last February – just before the countries began to shut down due to the corona pandemic.
– We have ambitions to be a little more present this season and we go to Sweden after the opening weekend. My husband grew up in Östersund, so we combine the trip with visiting friends, says Ingrid Kristin Holm.
The parents have seen their son impress in his first season on the national team with seven World Cup victories, two 2nd places and one 3rd place – and they have seen everything in front of the TV screen.
– It has been a bit unreal everything he has achieved. It’s almost like you have to pinch your arm, says Ingrid Kristin Holm.
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– Now we are excited about how he has coped with training harder, if he succeeds with the measures he takes with the stock market and in the other areas where he seeks to improve. We’re just glad he gets to do what he likes best. Sturla has already achieved so much that one can not expect him to succeed in everything. The results will be as they are.
Although last year’s season was special due to all the corona restrictions, Sturla Holm Lægreid has nothing to complain about.
– Last year we had a whole season without the audience in a responsible way. The most important thing is that the world gets through the pandemic in a good way, and then we should not cry over the fact that we do not get the audience on the races. Then I look forward to the day where we can shrug our shoulders a little again, think about the sport and enjoy it. That we should let go of the pressure and stress of illness around us all the time, says the 24-year-old.
PS! His previous World Cup winner just arrived in Östersund at the start of the hunt in March.