The news of Stina Nilssons future sports plans hit the FIS Cross-Country family quite sudden today. After seven years in the Swedish Cross-Country team, Stina Nilsson chooses a new career path that leads her to compete in Biathlon in the future.
"My basic idea was to run Cross-Country skiing for another Olympics and then change after the season 2022. But because of my injury I have been given a lot of time to think and test shoot and I feel that I really do not want to wait any longer."
This past winter was not at all what Stina had hoped. A stress fracture led her quit the World Cup circuit after the first competition of the Tour de Ski from where she did not compete anymore. Since then, Stina has been in rehabilitation but never ceased to amaze. She has secretly been on the shooting range and now she has decided. As of next season Stina Nilsson will compete in Biathlon.
Stina does not see the fact that she is now competing with a rifle on her back as a concern: "I am humbled by the biathlon challenges, where I believe that the routine of the rifle and learning all about the weapon, such as when and how to screw, will be the biggest challenge, but they are a challenge I look forward to. I just get to practice "a little" extra on it."
Stina has been in the Cross-Country team since 2013 and even though she changes discipline, she does not leave the skiing part. "I would like to thank the Swedish Ski Association for these important and fun years. It feels like I will be able to keep a lot of Cross-Country skiing even in the future, it's not that I change the world altogether. I would like to see that Cross-Country skiing and Biathlon go a bit hand in hand for me. My ambition is to be at least as good a skier in the future and to be able to guest play for my ski club IFK Mora on SM relay teams in the future," says the 26 year-old. Stina Nilsson has been in contact with the Swedish Biathlon Association where they are excited about her interest and welcome her to Swedish biathlon.
For the FIS Cross-Country family, Stina Nilsson was a game changer, a team player, a fantastic skier and a valuable athlete to the whole team. At 108 World Cup starts, Stina took home 41 podium spots and 23 victories amongst that. In the previous season, Stina took home three medals from the World Ski Championships in Seefeld - one including the historic relay gold medal, which adds up to her World Championships medal bouquet to 7 medals in total. The grand Cross-Country career of Stina Nilsson is rounded up with total of five Olympic Winter games medals - including the individual Olympic gold medal for her Sprint victory in Classic style in PyeongChang.
Stina, your FIS Cross-Country family would like to thank you for your great contributions to our sport and for all those hard fights on the competition course. We are looking forward to watch you racing and wish you all the best on your hunt for those five black dots!