Biathlon star Benedikt Doll announces end of career

As of: February 23, 2024 1:09 p.m

With Benedikt Doll, the last representative of a golden biathlon generation says goodbye. The 33-year-old DSV athlete still has big goals this season.

For a long time, Benedikt Doll kept it open as to what would happen next for the biathlete after this season. On Friday, February 23rd, the 33-year-old announced that he would end his career at the end of the season after twelve years in the Biathlon World Cup. For years, Doll was one of the most successful biathletes in the German Ski Association (DSV) and a leader in the team. Especially after the resignation of his long-time teammates Erik Lesser, Simon Schempp and Arnd Peiffer. Now the last representative of this golden generation of German biathletes is saying goodbye.

“I invested everything again and gave my best for myself and the team to get the most out of this season and at the World Championships in Nove Mesto,” said Doll. He now notices “that I now want to put my energy into new projects and spend more time with my family. I look back on an eventful time that I never want to miss.”

Doll’s record is impressive: gold at the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, two bronze medals at the Olympic Games, fourth in the overall World Cup, plus six individual World Cup victories – two of which he won in the current season and proved that he has a sporting background can still keep up with the world’s best.

Doll: “I’m getting old”

He also showed this at the 2024 Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto. In addition to Janina Hettich-Walz’s silver medal, Doll’s bronze medal in the individual was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise mixed world championship for the DSV team. After his bronze run, Doll was as calm as usual: “I’m crying inside, but since I’ve become emotionally numb after so many years of competitive sport, the tears don’t come out.”

This statement also shows one of the reasons why Doll is now ending his career, even though he is one of the absolute best in the world. The Italian portal “fondoitalia” he had already said before the season: “I’m getting old. Sometimes it’s hard for me to motivate myself. Besides, I want to do something else in my life.” With the birth of his son in 2022, Doll’s priorities have shifted. He repeatedly indicated that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

“It was a relatively easy decision for me. Over the last few years I always had the feeling that I wanted to do something different. And the motivation was simply no longer 100 percent.”

The national coach hoped that Doll would stay until the end

Nevertheless, national coach Felix Bitterling had hoped until the end that he could count on Doll in the coming season: “We hope that at some point he will come to the right decision, which from our point of view is that he will stick with it for another year,” said national coach Felix Bitterling. “But we will accept any decision Benni makes, we owe it to him.”

Doll’s greatest success was his sensational victory at the 2017 World Championships in Hochfilzen. He won the gold medal in the sprint with just 0.7 seconds ahead of the Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe. “That’s why I do biathlon, to finally reach the top”said Doll at the time.

Farewell tour: Doll can win the Sprint World Cup

Doll still has three stops left for a short farewell tour from the World Cup circus. The races are in Oslo (NOR), Soldier Hollow (USA) and Canmore (CAN) is anything but insignificant in terms of sport.

Doll is currently in eighth place in the overall World Cup as the best German and no longer has a chance to intervene in the fight for the big crystal ball. But in the Sprint World Cup he is in second place with 269 points, just behind the Norwegian Tarjei Bø (288). Doll is missing the small crystal ball from his collection and would be the crowning glory of a successful biathlon career.