Russia (bbabo.net), - The success story of the French biathlete Quentin Fillon-Maillet touched many. Because it was not just a high point for a 29-year-old athlete who, before the 2022 Olympics, had never won individual races, even at world championships.
"Shot" in Beijing helped not only and not so much work, determination, faith in one's own strength or a lucky break. When Kenten ran to medals, he was driven by love. He dedicated gold in the individual race to his girlfriend. She was able to defeat cancer and inspired the guy to a sporting feat.
- The idea that gold was my main goal was in my head all the time. To be honest, it was overwhelming. But my victory in the individual race is just fantastic. I did not think that with two misses I would remain in first place, but I felt great on the move and continued to give my all one hundred percent. And my childhood dream became a reality, - said the biathlete. - Olympic gold will be a good gift for my girlfriend. I want to say thank you to Lydia, because she sacrificed a lot for me, she was an example for me.
Lydia's diagnosis became known in the fall of 2017, just before the Games in Pyeongchang. It was difficult to focus on biathlon during that period of Fillon-Maillet. At the Olympics in Korea, Kenten took part in three individual races and did not get into the relay races. The best result was 29th place in the mass start. “I really just want to erase all the competitions in Pyeongchang from my memory,” the Frenchman said then. “The worst days, it was very hard. After all, it was not the Olympics that were at stake, but the life of a girl. after the World Cup, I came to her hospital. She looked tired and depressed so much that she could not move."
And yet, Lydia found the strength to fight the disease and did not give up on Kenten, whom this situation greatly crippled emotionally. She kept saying: "You have put in so much effort, you have worked so hard, you must continue." And after another unsuccessful race, he asked for forgiveness with tears in his eyes. Fillon-Maillet took time to gather his strength, his thoughts, but he perked up and decided to make a beautiful dedication to his beloved at all costs. In Beijing, this worked out to the fullest. Quentin Fillon-Maillet became the third athlete in French history to win five medals in one Olympics. He has two golds (individual and pursuit) and three silvers (relay, mixed relay and sprint).
Yes, this is a story with a happy ending. After the 2018 Olympics, Lydia successfully completed chemotherapy, and her condition gradually improved. Kenten fulfilled his Olympic dream. Every time after the race, when he told reporters about gold or silver, it was a conversation not only about the path in sports, but about the line of life. Or in his case Lydia's life.
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Another heart is brokenIn biathlon - already in real time - another sports drama related to the health of an athlete played out. During the pursuit race on the last lap, the Norwegian Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold "turned off", eventually missing the medal. But now is not about that. Ingrid has already had a couple of fainting spells during the competition. There were diagnoses - atrial fibrillation, heart rhythm disturbance. Although the survey did not reveal anything. However, when force majeure occurs at the Olympics, it attracts much more attention and has a much greater resonance. And the shots from the finish line, when Tandrevold collapsed on her face in the snow and, it seems, lost consciousness, were not for the faint of heart. She was carried off the road in her arms. "The condition is lethargic and depressed," commented Norway team doctor Lars Kolsrud.
But in the sprint, an alarm bell has already sounded. “The feeling after the race was as if I had missed a very hard blow,” the Norwegian complained then. “There were some flashes in my eyes, after the finish I did not understand what was happening and did not remember the details of the race.”
Perhaps the problems in the sprint and pursuit are related to oxygen starvation, because the biathlon stadium is located at an altitude of 1665 meters above sea level. The team doctors decided to remove Ingrid from the relay and mass start. "My heart is broken. Yesterday I had one of the best racing days. And then it suddenly became one of the worst," Tandrevold said bitterly at a press conference.
In today's mass start, the Norwegian will be replaced by our Irina Kazakevich, who took silver the day before as part of the relay team. When the number was made up, it became known how difficult that race was for the Russians. The athlete went to the start on the day of her father's funeral.