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L'Invité : Martin Fourcade


L'Invité : Martin Fourcade

On the occasion of the 3rd round of the Biathlon World Cup which is currently taking place in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, discover Martin Fourcade, guest of our last magazine!!

Memories and secrets of the five-time Olympic biathlon champion qui a who gave a great show last summer in Annecy, by organizing the first Martin Fourcade Nordic Festival. A few months before the World Cup, he had invited the best of his discipline to the Impérial Palace before competing on roller skis.

PVG : Why did you choose Annecy for the first Martin Fourcade Nordique Festival (MFNF)?
MF: « Annecy is a magical setting and city rooted in the very heart of the mountains. It is home to the French Ski Federation and, along with Le Grand-Bornand, has hosted the Biathlon World Cup for three consecutive years. With the World Cup organisers, we wanted to combine this event with the festival.»

PVG : Do you think the MFNF will become an annual event? 
MF: « As its organiser, I certainly hope so. Following on from the first edition, this objective is also shared by the Annecy city hall, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and various investors. The public has also given us a thumbs up. Feedback has been positive across the board, so I can definitely say we’ll be back in 2020.»

PVG : Why did you choose the Impérial Palace to present the MFNF to the press and welcome the athletes?
MF: « The Impérial Palace is Annecy’s iconic hotel boasting magnificent views over the lake and the mountains, and the infrastructure is remarkable. As the host for my opponents, partners, and an event such as the MFNF, I had to offer a flawless venue. I was totally convinced of the Impérial’s ability to deliver this sort of service. The meal organised for our partners the day before the event took place under exceptional conditions. And the hotel’s location just next to the competition site made all logistical challenges very easy to overcome. It was a real advantage. »

PVG : The public attended a professional sporting competition without any snow and held in a pop-up biathlon stadium. Do you think that skiing should make moves into cities to win over younger people and inspire a love of winter sports?
MF: « The most important thing for me is to popularise my sport and bring it to city centres where people are not used to seeing it. Putting sports back into cities is also a way to promote sporting values in an otherwise unusual setting. Annecy gave us the unique opportunity to achieve this goal.»

PVG : The biathlon is a discipline that has enjoyed huge media attention in France. What is your ambition for this sport as one of its most renowned representatives?
MF: « I am so happy to have made the biathlon more popular over the last few years, and to have inspired greater media coverage. My ambition is to give this discipline the status it deserves. It will never be football. It isn’t a simple sport, but with events like the MFNF, I have shown that the biathlon has a following and a set of values. I am delighted to have brought so many people along on this adventure with me. More than 60 businesses helped finance the MFNF and contributed to creating the brand village, and there were more than 15,000 people at the competition site. Today there is a real audience and real expectations for the biathlon. That is, without a doubt, one of my greatest achievements.»

PVG : What advice would you give to a friend who has never been to Annecy?
MF: « That they should make sure they come and experience this beautiful, sporty city right next to the world’s biggest ski resorts. It is unthinkable not to visit Annecy! »

PVG : You grew up in the Pyrenees and your father is a mountain guide. What is your best – and worst – memory of the mountains?
MF: « I create new memories in the mountains every day, as it’s both my playground and my training environment. This is where I spend most of my time. Choosing my best memory would be difficult, but examples would include specific moments such as sunsets, when you see types of light you can only experience in the peaks. The worst memory is, without a second thought, when I lost one of my friends in the mountains. I think of him every time I look at them. »

PVG : Aside from competitions and training, do you feel the need to be close to nature? And if you do, what does it bring you?
MF: « Definitely, I feel good in nature, I feel free. I need to be close to the natural world and its calm atmosphere, to feel that wherever I am I can quickly find myself alone in the forest. That’s my own personal luxury! »

PVG : What do you generally do on holiday?
MF: « I’m not fussy. I love travelling. My perfect holiday would be in some far-flung part of the world with friends by the sea, as I rarely spend time in that sort of setting. I love relaxing, exercising, and spending time on social media, as unfortunately I have a hard time disconnecting! »
PVG : Your house is filled with women. Is it nice to have a feminine side to your daily life?
MF: « Certainly. I am so lucky to be surrounded by women in my day-to-day life. I always dreamed of having two daughters, and we now have two beautiful girls. Needless to say, I’m the happiest dad in the world! »