Q&A with Tim Burke
EXCLUSIVE: Eurosport caught up with Tim Burke ahead of the Winter Games in Vancouver.
Question: Biathlon is far from the most popular winter sport in the USA, so how did you become interested in it?
Tim Burke: I was very fortunate to grow up in the Lake Placid area. Since Lake Placid has hosted the Winter Olympics twice they have all the venues. As a kid I tried a lot of the Olympic sports and biathlon just suited me best.
Q: What other sports did you try?
TB: I tried ski jumping but it didn’t go so well. I spent a lot more time on the ground than in the air so I stuck to cross-country and biathlon.
Q: You became the first American to wear the yellow bib in the World Cup in December, what did it take for you to achieve this?
TB: It's taken years of hard work. I think the biggest difference is the changes we have made within the team. We have put together an absolutely world-class staff, from our managers and coaching staff to our technicians. That’s what’s helped me to become what I am today.
Q: You've already got more points in the World Cup then you had at the end of last year's competition, you must have made some specific changes?
TB: The biggest difference this year has been my shooting - it's much more consistent and I'm on a much higher level.
Q: The Olympics will take place just over the border in Canada - will there be more attention from the public than before?
TB: For sure, people are very excited. I'll have a lot of family and friends up there watching. I think the whole United States will sit up and take note of these Games.
Q: What are your aims for Vancouver?
TB: I'm going there to be my best and to win a medal. This has never been done by an American biathlete and I would love to be the first person to do it.
Q: And what about a victory in the World Cup?
TB: I'm not thinking of that at all now. I'm going race by race and focusing on the Olympics.
Q: Most of the time you travel together with your German girlfriend Andrea Henkel, who is also a biathlete. Do you ever train together?
TB: Yes, sometimes. Not so much on the physical part, but Andrea spent some time with me in Lake Placid and I spent some time with her in Germany so we could do some shooting training together.
Q: Have you learnt to speak any German?
TB: A little bit, but it's not so good. We're working on it very slowly.