Unsurprisingly, many are eager to discover her feelings, receive her autograph or simply share their admiration. Two buses were needed to bring Darya’s fans to Minsk National Airport, where the mood was utterly joyful. Painted in red and green, the crowd bestowed flowers upon its heroine.
Always professional, Dasha found time for journalists, as well as friends and family. Having arrived on April Fools’ Day, she could not resist joking that her next goal is to perform with her fellow female biathletes at the Rio Olympics as a synchronised swimming team. She smiled, “I think we’ll succeed. We just need a trip to the coast to train!”
As you’re taking a rest from biathlon for a while, tell us what has given you most satisfaction so far.
Are you speaking of Olympic medals and the Globe? It’s hard for me to say, since the Olympics take place only every four years while a Globe can be won every season.
Welcome from crowds of fans. Photo: VLADIMIR SHLAPAK
Are you happy with this season?
I’m pleased with how it finished. There were quite a few moments when I needed to raise my game. One problem was my ski preparation. Moreover, in many races, I had to clench my teeth to stay the distance.
How did you feel on receiving the Globe?
I believe that it’s vital to set goals and achieve them, despite all difficulties. As you’ve seen, much has happened to me this season. I could have lost heart, surrendering without a struggle, but I kept focused on my goal of winning.
It took but an hour for the victorious sportswoman to reach her car from the plane but the emotions evident were worthy of six months of ‘ordinary’ living.
By Dmitry Baranovsky