News : Biathlon: Arnd Peiffer announces the end of his career – sport
Arnd Peiffer breaks up, even the Olympics in Beijing are no longer an incentive for him. The 33-year-old announced his retirement from biathlon on Tuesday, a year before the Winter Games in China, unpretentiously in eight short sentences. “As you can imagine, it’s not an easy decision after such a long time. For me, however, it has long been clear that the ideal time has come to quit after this season,” wrote the native of Harz on Facebook.
After four-time world champion Simon Schempp (32), the Olympic sprint champion from Pyeongchang is the second long-standing top performer to end his career this season and leave a big gap in the team of national coach Mark Kirchner.
Shortly and painlessly, as he had always announced beforehand, the native of Harz, known for his factual and self-critical analyzes, resigned two days before his 34th birthday. “The spectrum ranged from sweet successes to bitter defeats and everything in between. The sport and the experiences have shaped me, and I don’t want to miss the experience that I was allowed to gain,” wrote Peiffer. At the season finale in Östersund, Sweden, which starts on Friday, he is no longer there for family reasons. An exuberant farewell party among his colleagues and a farewell in front of full spectators would not have happened anyway, given the Corona circumstances.
And Peiffer caught exactly the right time. Unlike Norway’s legend Ole Einar Björndalen, who ran on for too long and was then no longer competitive, Peiffer stops with a sense of achievement. “This winter I was able to look forward to some good races and successes, and it is wonderful to stop with the feeling of still being competitive,” wrote Peiffer. At the World Championships in Pokljuka he won his 17th World Championship medal with silver in singles, his first mass start victory at the World Cup in Hochfilzen and was on the podium a total of five times.
Peiffer was also considered a critic
Since his World Cup debut in January 2009, he has won a total of five World Cup gold, in addition to his 2018 Sprint Gold, one Olympic silver and one bronze each, and ten World Cups as an individual athlete. Relay gold from Sochi could be added later for him as for Schempp if the victorious Russians were stripped of gold for doping. The proceedings are ongoing.
“Arnd was not only one of our most important and consistent performers this winter, but also in recent years,” said sports director Bernd Eisenbichler. Peiffer was part of the national team for 13 winters, brought top results most of the time and will now be sorely lacking in the future. DSV board member Karin Orgeldinger hopes that Peiffer will make “his experience and expertise available to the association in some way.”
Peiffer not only impressed with his sporting achievements, but was also always a vocal critic, not only in terms of doping, but also in terms of sports policy and social issues. He criticized the Olympia spectacle, which for him had long since lost its myth. “The Olympics wouldn’t be something that would motivate me to do a year longer, although I actually don’t like it anymore,” he said recently. Olympia – that is gigantism, no longer “designed for athletes, but for the spectators. This is a huge inflated event that is brutally marketed.” Peiffer’s performances and critical tones will be missing.