Eleonora Fauner was one of Italy's biathlon talents – now she is ending her career at the age of 25. © CEPix / Imago / Screenshot Instagram / Eleonora Fauner
Surprising end to biathlete Eleonora Fauner's career: The 25-year-old is calling it quits – and will instead be working with her family in the future.
Cima Sappada – She comes from a successful winter sports family, was considered an Olympic hope in her own country – but now Eleonora Fauner has surprisingly ended her career. The Italian biathlete has found another vocation.
|Born:||September 24, 1997 (25 years old), Sappada, Italy|
|Greatest biathlon success:||Victory in the IBU Cup sprint in Brezno-Osrblie (2023)|
Eleonora Fauner announces surprising end to biathlon career
In the future, the 25-year-old will no longer be on the cross-country ski trail, but in the restaurant. "The reason for my retirement is simple: we opened a restaurant with my family and after being able to rest all of April at the end of the long season, I felt like changing and immersing myself in this new activity," she explained in an interview with Biathlon Azzurro.
Just a few weeks ago, Fauner made her surprising decision to turn her back on biathlon. Most recently, she was active in the IBU Cup, even winning a race in Brenzno-Osrblie in January. A short time later, she was therefore allowed to compete in the World Cup in Ruhpolding.
Biathlete Fauner "was never completely satisfied": Now she is ending her career and working in the family business
However, the granddaughter of Olympic cross-country skiing champion Silvio Fauner had never set foot on the big stage. And she knew that herself: "In the years I took part in the IBU Cup, I was never completely satisfied. I'm aware that I've always done my best in every way I win, but now I want to embark on a new path full of challenges."
Fauner was considered a promising candidate for the Italian biathlon squad at the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. However, she will then follow the highlight in her own country as a spectator. At Biathlon Azzurro, Fauner also emphasized that she wants to end the chapter on sport. A possible career as a coach would never have been an option for her.
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Instead, it will be gastronomy. "Of course, my second passion besides sports has always been cooking, the world of gastronomy has always fascinated me," says Fauner.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
The family will soon open a restaurant in their home town of Cima Sappada – not far from the Austrian border, 90 kilometres northwest of Udine. "And I was immediately excited to join in and lead it."
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The end of Fauner's career is by no means the only one at the moment. In Norway there are a number of biathlon withdrawals, in Austria, on the other hand, they are already working on the next generation of winter sports athletes. (akl)