Sigi Heinrich - talking to a legend
He is one of these reporter legends, who has shaped the sport world for decades – Sigi Heinrich. After working as an editor for the renowned German newspaper “Süddeutsche” for eight years, he switched to the newly founded TV station Eurosport in 1989, the year of the Alpine Ski World Championships in Vail. From the beginning he made a name for himself with his likable voice and his competence. In 2006 his efforts were rewarded with the IBU Biathlon award and in 2014 Sigi received the Bavarian Sport Award in the category “Outstanding presentation of sport”. Now here in Hochfilzen, he shared some of his impressions he gained during the first week of the ongoing World Championships.
When was the first biathlon competition you commented on?
The Olympic Games 1998 in Nagano and before I can remember Lillehammer also within the same season.
Since that time not only the biathlon sport but also the event location Hochfilzen have developed remarkably. What is your opinion on the actual general conditions that Hochfilzen provides for these World Championships?
They are perfect, it couldn’t be any better. I think they are providing the best conditions possible. For all people involved, no matter which department they are working at, everything is organized perfectly. For everyone the conditions are fantastic. From my personal experience, this is not the case with other types of sport. To my mind, the biathlon sport has developed to an optimal mixture of entertainment, information and amusement.
We’re now halfway into this event. Until now, which personal impressions of these World Championships do you remember in particular?
Especially the wonderful sunny weather. In addition, the media catering is excellent and the media spokesperson is very friendly. Our working conditions are convenient, but even though it is a large room the media centre is almost too small for all the media delegates. Moreover, I can point out to the extremely thrilling competitions. Like with all other World Championships, obviously there are a few superstars who stick out most – this time Fourcade and Dahlmeier.
Does it surprise you, that besides the top athletes you just mentioned also Darya Domracheva and Ole Einar Bjoerndalen were able to win medals again? What do you expect from the Austrian team regarding the upcoming competitions?
With regard to Domracheva and Bjoerndalen I can just say – it’s wonderful! It is unbelievable that Darya wins a medal again only four months after giving birth to her daughter. And Ole with 43 years – these are the stories a sport lives on. I personally think that especially in the Relay the Austrians can be successful. Also concerning the individual competitions I believe that they can reach the podium because their performance is good on the track. It is the same with Benedikt Doll who didn’t score for years. Often it is only about a few millimetres. If everything goes well I think that a medal for the Austrians Eder, Landertinger and Eberhard could be possible. But the chances to succeed might be higher in the Relay.