Born a stone's throw from the Mediterranean Sea, Simon Fourcade is a formidable member of the French relay team, where he competes alongside his younger brother Martin. Fourcade played ice hockey as a youth, but fell in love with biathlon after discovering it in his pre-teens. Thanks to an...
Born a stone's throw from the Mediterranean Sea, Simon Fourcade is a formidable member of the French relay team, where he competes alongside his younger brother Martin. Fourcade played ice hockey as a youth, but fell in love with biathlon after discovering it in his pre-teens. Thanks to an interesting incentive for shooting accuracy that the French team utilizes, he has developed into one of the most accurate shots on the World Cup circuit.
2007: World Championships – 8th (individual, mass start), 10th (relay), 25th (pursuit), 37th (sprint)
2006: Olympics – 31st (individual)
Things to know:
1. Fourcade was born in the French city of Perpignan near the Mediterannean coast, but moved at age six with his parents and brothers Brice and Martin to Villard de Lans, an Alpine ski station that hosted the luge competition during the 1968 Grenoble Olympic Games. He juggled skiing with his other sporting passion, ice hockey, before discovering biathlon. His younger (and taller) brother Martin followed suit a couple of years later.
2. The French have traditionally been very accurate shots, perhaps helped by the fact that their federation has one of the lowest budgets among the elite biathlon teams and does not have rounds to waste. During the 2008-09 World Cup season, four French male biathletes finished among the top-20 in shooting percentage. As incentive to perform well on the range during competition, the close-knit team keeps a piggy bank to collect money from each member for each missed shot. At the end of each season, they pool together the money and have a fun, team-bonding exercise. A popular choice is paintball.
3. Fourcade, who speaks fluent English, should feel a close affinity to the English number found in the first syllable of his last name. He normally skis the fourth (anchor) leg for France in the men's 4x7.5km relay and the mixed relay, he has three fourth-place finishes at the World Championships and he finished fourth in the sprint event at the Vancouver Olympic test event in March 2009.