Retirement for Daniel Graf
|10.05.2012, Ruhpolding / IBU Info Dept./ Daniel Graf|
|France’s Ludwig Ehrhart Also Leaves the Sport|
|The German team lost another veteran this spring as Daniel Graf announced his retirement this week. The 30-year-old leaves the sport after 21 years. He is the third veteran on the German Team after Magdalena Neuner and Sabrina Buchholz to end his career this year. His reasons are mainly problems with his coaches and lack of success.
Graf came back from a break due to illness which forced him to end the 2010-11 season early. Despite several German Championship titles he never managed to secure a permanent spot on the German World Cup squad.
Lack of Support
Graf, who is known for speaking his mind openly, explained, “During the last winter I could feel that I was close to the “zenith” of my athletic career and even though I still am enthusiastic about the sport, I don’t want to cross that line while in the public eye. But that’s not the only reason. I had to rely mainly on myself during the last summer and got only very little support. Success is not achieved by an individual! You need a team that backs you up and coaches who believe in you, not a coach who only tries to avoid you. It is a pity that we miss out on so much in the World Cup because we don’t communicate and some athletes are simply “silently cast aside”. Plus, only very few people could understand the decision to take me off the World Cup after my 15th place in Östersund last December.”
I Love Biathlon
Graf did not only criticize but also stressed that he owes a lot to the sport and did not decide easily to retire. “I take away many nice memories from my time in the sport. I don’t want to leave the impression that I retire with bitterness or anger. No, I love biathlon! I don’t regret the time and I am pretty content with what I have achieved.”
Graf celebrated his biggest success during the 2007-08 season when he finished 2nd and 3rd at the World Cups in Khanty Mansiysk and Hochfilzen, respectively. He finished that season in 13th place of the overall World Cup score. In addition, he won the IBU Cup Total Score in 2009-10, won several titles and medals from Junior World Championships, and claimed a number of German Championship titles. He now wants to focus on his Event Management studies and enjoy things he was not able to do as a professional athlete, like learning how to play the guitar.
France’s Ludwig Ehrhart also announced his retirement from biathlon, despite his young age of only 22. The French athlete had been juggling biathlon and academics in recent years and now has decided to stick with academics after passing the tough entrance exam for physiotherapist school. Ehrhart won eight medals at the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships between 2008 and 2011, including four Gold medals. Although he competed mostly on the IBU Cup circuit the past two years, Ehrhart was talented shooter who was expected to move to the World Cup squad at some point in the future.