Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Marius Epp
Johanna Skottheim has had some tough years. © IMAGO/CARL SANDIN
The Swedish biathlete Johanna Skottheim rose rapidly to the top of the world - but then she fell just as quickly into a hole. Now she's talking about it.
Munich – Not everyone can handle quick success. There are numerous examples of this beyond sport. But especially in sports, there are many who have to struggle with the sudden pressure to perform - and crash. Like Johanna Skottheim.
|Born:||May 29, 1994 (age 29 years), Transtrand, Sweden|
|Debut in the World Cup:||8. January 2016|
|World Cup victories:||1 relay victory|
Swedish biathlete crashes: "Body that stopped working"
The Swedish biathlete was promoted to the A squad in the 2019/20 season after strong performances in the IBU Cup and ran her first World Cup races. At the beginning of the season, she was in top form and finished in the top five in three races. But she has not been able to build on these successes to this day. She lost her place in the team and stayed away from the world's best.
"I had a body that wasn't really working," she said in the winter of 2022 about her problems, which continued season after season. Overtraining, sleep problems, and even depression prevented them from getting back to their old levels. Something similar happened to Estonian Grete Gaim.
"I couldn't move anymore": Biathlete Skottheim describes anxiety
In a documentary by the Swedish broadcaster SVT, she talks about her time of suffering. Her successes led to a change in expectations in her environment, which she could not cope with. In the film, Skottheim describes severe anxiety, some of which paralyzed her completely.
"I couldn't move," she recalls. "I was completely exhausted and just lying around apathetically. Everything felt like a huge challenge." Even simple things like putting the laundry from the washing machine into the dryer caused her problems. "No, I'm not going to do that today and I'm putting it off until tomorrow," she thought to herself.
Biathlon: Great competition for Skottheim
Currently, the 29-year-old is back on the rise, but it is not yet enough for the A-team. With the Öberg sisters and the strong Linn Persson, the competition in the Swedish women's team is fierce. There is good news from a former biathlon star: Alexia Runggaldier celebrated a dream wedding. (epp)