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Sebastian Samuelsson - Interview
- Sebastian Samuelsson on nervousness and experience.
Sebastian Samuelsson is one of Sweden's most successful skiers in recent years, with both Olympic and World Cup medals to his credit. He has been wearing Hestra gloves throughout his career - initially with regular cross country gloves but now with the special “Biathlon Trigger Comp” model.
“I don't think everyone understands how important gloves are to a skier. Hestra's biathlon gloves have been a huge step forward. It's very much about the feel of the grip, both around the poles and the rifle. In addition, they have pads in the palm of the support hand to cushion the recoil and to keep the rifle steady,” Sebastian says.
Gloves need to be thick enough to keep you warm, yet flexible enough to not be clumsy. The colder it is, the more difficult the trade-off: should you put on a liner glove to avoid freezing your hands?
“You really have to find the right level, it's especially important for the trigger finger; you really need to feel the trigger. If the gloves are too thick, you lose that feeling, but if they’re too thin, you start to freeze. My hands get cold quite easily, and as soon as you get cold, you start to lose the sense in your fingers. I always change into a pair of dry gloves before starting.”
Biathlon athletes often peak a little later in their careers than those who "just" ski. It’s a lot about managing the pressure during shooting. Sebastian believes that this is something that improves with experience.
“I've learned to turn nervousness to my advantage. I'm shaping up a bit more. I focus a lot on the technical aspects, on exactly what to do, instead of thinking about what happens if I hit or miss. It’s about trying to be in the moment as much as possible. There are those who shoot better during practice and then get shaky when the pressure is on, but for me it’s almost the other way around.”