Consistent freak of the nature

Martine Fourcade’s success is based on a unique mix of genetic advantage and unprecedented consistency.

In season 2011/2012 – just his fourth in the BMW IBU World Cup - Martin Fourcade of France was winning his first Overall Title. He was happy for it was his first truly great achievement. He also felt it will also be his only Overall Title because it took so much out of him. He saw and felt what extraordinary feat of consistency it was and he wondered how on Earth did his great idol Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway manage to win Overall Title six times and stayed hungry and motivated, always seeking for the new ways to improve, to get better, to train smarter, to stay on top. While searching through his soul in the spring and summer training months of the year 2012 he also realized there is one thing creating more pain and is much harder to take than winning Overall Title. Not winning one. Observing his professional surroundings he also realized - very early in his career - that most of his colleagues, top athletes like himself, devoted to their sport like himself, do not or can not comprehend the consistency as profoundly as he does. That they come to the preseason camp as motivated as him, that they invest a lot of energy into first few days, maybe weeks, taking care about the details, stretching properly, eating, drinking and sleeping properly. But that most of them start, though barely visible, to give themselves a break now and then as the season evolves and how that adds up through the season and through the whole career. Fourcade’s consistency, attitude and enormous success are all vital ingredients of his legend. He not only brought biathlon to the focus of the highly capricious and picky French public for winning in France doesn’t mean only winning but winning with style, proving to oneself and to the public that one can carry the enormous burden of a great nation, being, consistently, the last man standing, the one who will clear the last target still open, the one who will fly over the course when the rest is exhausted, the one who will find reserves when others have none left, the one who will cross the finish line after most grueling of competitions and then almost casually take his skis down and smile to the cheering public while the rest lay on the snow, grasping for air and wondering what does this man do differently? Fourcade also has a huge genetic advantage over his competitors, every outstanding champion does. For Roger Federer that is extraordinary flexible wrist with which’s help the great Swiss directs his serve and pound his forehand from every angle on the court with incredible consistency. For Lionel Messi that is the low gravity centre which enables him to keep his body balanced even when he executes the most daring of his ideas of a footballing genius. For Usain Bolt it was the pair of super long legs that were in ideal disproportion to his upper body to develop speed nobody could match. Ever. Or not yet, at least. For Michael Phelps it was combination of long upper body and huge palms as well as the ability to pedal more economically than his competitors thanks to his super flexible ankles. Moreover, Phelps’wingspan is fully three inches longer than his height “For me that is a very low heart rate which is normally at around 25 beats per minute when not doing physical activity. Very few people in the whole World have such low pulse. Plus, my lactate in the muscles is low and allows me to use maximum speed over 95% course of the race,”explains Fourcade. Just to comprehend this extraordinary fact: Michael Phelp’s resting heart rate was at 38 beats per minute when the great American swimmer was at the peak of his powers.

Participated in

  • Olympic Winter Games
  • 5 Gold Medals: Individual Sochi 2014, Pursuit Sochi 2014; Pursuit PyeongChang 2018, Mass Start PyeongChang 2018, Mixed Relay PyeongChang 2018.
  • 2 Silver Medals: Mass Start Vancouver 2010; Mass Start Sochi 2014.

  • IBU World Championships
  • 11 Gold Medals: Pursuit Khanty-Mansiysk 2011; Sprint Ruhpolding 2012, Pursuit Ruhpolding 2012, Mass Start Ruhpolding 2012; Individual Nove Mesto 2013; Individual Kontiolahti 2015; Individual Oslo-Holmenkollen 2016, Sprint Oslo-H.

  • BMW IBU World Cup Individual Titles (24)
  • Individual (4): 2012/2013, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018.
  • Sprint (7): 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018.
  • Pursuit (8): 2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2.

  • Sprint (21): Oslo-Holmenkollen 2009/2010; Kontiolahti 2011/2012, Ruhpolding 2011/2012, Khanty-Mansiysk 2011/2012; Ruhpolding 2012/2013, Sochi 2012/2013, Khanty-Mansiysk 2012/2013; Ostersund 2013/2014; Ostersund 2014/2015, Oberhof 2014/2015, Khanty-Mansiys