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Soldier with a sibling rivalry – five facts about French biathlon star Martin Fourcade

LE GRAND BORNAND, FRANCE - DECEMBER 17: Martin Fourcade of France in action during the IBU Biathlon World Cup Men's and Women's Mass Start on December 17, 2017 in Le Grand Bornand, France. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Martin Fourcade is the undisputed new king of biathlon and will be favourite to win a third gold at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Here are five facts about the French star:

Sibling rivalry

Fourcade started cross-country skiing at the age of six and took up biathlon four years later. His inspiration – and greatest rival – then, as now, was his brother Simon, who is four years older. Fourcade said: “When I saw Simon win the Junior World Championships (in 2002) I said, ‘that’s what I want to do.'”

First for the Fourcade brothers

In Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic in 2012, the brothers became the first to share the podium at a World Cup event. Simon was second in the sprint, with Martin third, while Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen took first place.

Olympic records

Fourcade won silver in the mass start at Vancouver 2010 , but it was at Sochi four years later that he really became a legend of the sport. He took gold in both the 12.5km pursuit and 20km individual event, becoming the first French athlete to win two titles at one Winter Games since skier Jean-Claude Killy in 1968. By winning silver in the mass start, he also became the most decorated French Winter Olympian.

Beating a biathlon legend

Fourcade is often compared to the ‘King of Biathlon’ Ole Einar Bjorndalen. He has some way to go to match the Norwegian’s feats – he has 13 Olympic medals and 45 World Championships – but there is one way in which he has already surpassed Bjorndalen. Fourcade is the only male biathlete to have won the overall World Cup six times in a row, starting in 2011/12, which the Norwegian never managed to do.

Soldier

The Frenchman is a non-commissioned officer in the French army, where his superlative shooting skills no doubt come in very handy!

 

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