As a young boy skiing round the mountain peaks of his native Norway with his brother Tarjei, also a top-level biathlete, Johannes Thingnes Bø’s dream was to become Olympic Biathlon Champion. Little did he know that both brothers would one day scale the heights of the world’s biathlon podiums. Johannes achieved his personal dream 2018, at the age of 25 in PyeongChang, where he collected no less than 3 medals, topped off with his first individual Gold after a near faultless performance in the 20 km.
Almost two years on, and Johannes continues to move from strength to strength. The biathlete clearly has peak performance in his sights, notching up a total of 5 Crystal Globes with no less than 16 individual race victories in the World Cup, a record for any one season. The start of the 2019 / 2020 World Cup season is very promising for the Norwegian, who has already won 1 race in Stage One, 3 races in Stage Two and 2 races in Stage Three in the course of December.
Biathlon is unique in that it calls into play two very different disciplines: cross-country skiing and marksmanship with a rifle. Both require supreme concentration. High-precision targeting in a fraction of a second must be combined with long-haul endurance capabilities. Penalties for the merest slip aiming at the target can wipe out points snatched in the nick of time down the slalom. The average pulse at this point of a race is 180 bpm. In addition to skiing fast, athletes need the ability to calm down and shut out the outside world as they try to hit five small targets from a distance of 50 metres. Accuracy, timing and precision are key. Being one hundredth of a second too fast or too slow on the trigger can make the difference between success and failure.
Extreme concentration on the absolute limits of human time chimes naturally with the Richard Mille brand. “Development and innovation are key factors when it comes to reaching the highest possible level both in sports and product,” says Johannes. As the newest member of the Richard Mille family, he is negotiating the slopes with a bespoke RM 67-02 Automatic Extra Flat.
“The RM 67-02 fits so close to the wrist that it actually feels like it is part of the skin. During races, we athletes take our rifles off up to four times, and this calls for an extremely well-fitting watch, not to interfere with the weapon drill. Lightweight, athletic and sporting the Norwegian colors, I know that this watch on my wrist will give me strength and motivation.” – Johannes Thingnes Bø, World Champion Biathlete