At the last Biathlon World Championships in Oberhof, Emilien Jacquelin was able to take home two medals with bronze in the mixed relay and gold in the relay, but things didn’t go well for the Frenchman in the individual competitions. The 27-year-old then pulled the ripcord and ended his season early. A decision that was clearly necessary.
“The tank is empty. Sad but reassured, I announce that I’m ending my season”: With these words, France’s top biathlete Emilien Jacquelin announced his early end of the season at the end of February 2023. In a discussion with the French sports newspaper “L’Équipe”, Jacquelin explained his motives in detail.
“It was a difficult decision that I could have made a year ago after the Olympics,” Jacquelin reveals. At that time, however, he still saw a chance to win the overall World Cup and therefore continued. However, he was already aware that he needed a break. “I have the ability to put a lot of energy into it, I did, but at some point you have to listen to your body,” Jacquelin continued. After all, he is “not a machine”.
The two-time pursuit world champion underscored how important the break was for his career with emphatic words: “Without this break I would probably have said goodbye to biathlon in a year because I couldn’t find myself there anymore. It’s like a record: I’m done with side A, I’m taking a break before flipping the record and playing side B. I had to make my peace with it all.”
The decision also appears to be a kind of personal turning point for Jacquelin. “I am the way I am and at the age of 27 I have to accept myself. Because in recent years I have stopped being myself, also to please the people around me,” explains the ski hunter.
In the meantime, however, he has realized that he has to follow his convictions in order to live his career.