Full name: Darya Vladimirovna Domracheva
Born: 3 August 1986
Place of Birth: Minsk, Belarus
Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Ski club: Dynamo Minsk
Coaches: Andrian Tsybulsky (head coach of the Belarusian women’s biathlon team), Klaus Siebert and Fyodor Svoboda (senior coaches).
Joined Belarus’ national biathlon team in 2006 (made her junior team debut in 2005).
Three gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and a bronze medal of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Two victories at the Biathlon World Championships: in the pursuit at the 2012 IBU World Championship in Germany’s Ruhpolding and in the mass start in Nove Mesto, Czechia, in 2013)
Silver medals at several Biathlon World Championships: in the mixed relay in Sweden’s Oestersund (2008), in the mass start in Russia’s Khanty-Mansiysk (2011) and in the sprint in Germany’s Ruhpolding (2012)
Relay bronze at the Biathlon World Championships 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Small Crystal Globes in the mass start in the 2010/2011 season, in the pursuit and the mass start in 2011/2012, in the mass start in the 2013/2014 season.
Winner of the Big Crystal Globe trophy (2014/2015)
Darya Domracheva was born in Minsk but then her family moved to Russia’s Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. Her mother was chief architect of Nyagan which construction had only begun. The family lived there for 15 years.
Darya took up sport in Russia in 1992. She followed her brother’s example and joined a skiing academy where she was coached by Andrei Doroshenko. In 1999 Domracheva was one of the first athletes to come to the biathlon school which had opened in Nyagan. Albert Musin became Darya Domracheva’s first biathlon coach.
In 2004 Darya Domracheva returned to Minsk and joined the Belarusian national team at the invitation of coaches.
Darya Domracheva’s first international competition in Belarus colors was the 2005 IBU Youth and Junior World Championships in Kontiolahti (Finland) where she won the sprint and the pursuit races but was only 40th in the individual race (the diopter fell off at one of the shooting stages and she missed all 5 targets).
Darya Domracheva took 3rd place in the pursuit and 4th place in the individual race at the 2006 Junior World Championships in Presque Isle (USA).
In 2007 she picked up two silver medals in the sprint and the pursuit at the Junior World Championships in Vall Martello (Italy).
World Cups and World Championships
Darya Domracheva made her World Cup debut in 2006. She took 16th place in the sprint at the season-opening biathlon World Cup meet in Sweden’s Ostersund, which was the second best result of the Belarusian national team.
She joined the senior biathlon team in the 2006/07 season. Back then, Darya took 22nd place in the overall World Cup standings.
In the 2008/2009 season Domracheva managed to finish among top ten biathletes. However, a couple of ridiculous mistakes in Germany’s Oberhof prevented her from taking a higher place. Being first in the mass start Darya mixed up the standing and the prone stage, missed all targets and withdrew from the race. A year later, she was leading again until the third stage when she shot at other biathlete’s target and got four penalties.
The 2009/2010 season brought Darya Domracheva victories in the sprint and the pursuit (Kontiolahti) and individual silver (Norway’s Holmenkollen).
In the 2011/2012 season, Darya Domracheva finished second overall in the World Cup rankings with 1,188 points after Germany’s Magdalena Neuner who picked up 1,216 points. That season Darya Domracheva won two Small Crystal Globes in the mass start and the pursuit.
Prior to the 2012/2013 season Darya Domracheva was considered one of medal hopefuls at both the IBU World Cup and the World Championships. Her speed was good as it was expected but shooting accuracy often let the Belarusian down. She won the sprint in Austria’s Hohfilzen and the individual event in Sochi at the E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon. She also won mass start gold at the 2013 IBU World Championships Biathlon in Czechia. However, in the 2012/13 season the Belarusian could not keep up with Norwegian biathlete Tora Berger’s pace and vigor. She came in second overall and failed to win any of the Crystal Globes.
The 2013/14 season became truly triumphant for Darya Domracheva. However, the Belarusian came in third (793 points) in the World Cup total score which does not count the Olympics results. In the competition for the Big Crystal Globe the Belarusian lost to the season’s leader Kaisa Makarainen of Finland and Tora Berger of Norway who placed second. Darya Domracheva claimed the seasonal mass start crystal globe.
Darya Domracheva won her first Big Crystal Globe, the overall women’s biathlon World Cup title, to finish the biathlon season 2014/2015 on a grant note. She bagged nine wins having scored 1092 points and edging out her closest rivals Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen (1044 points) and Ukrainian Valentina Semerenko (865). Darya won four Pursuit races (Kontiolahti, Anterselva, Nove Mesto, Khanty-Mansiysk), two Sprint events (Anterselva and Holmenkollen) and two Mass Starts (Ruhpolding and Oberhof), and the Individual race (Ostersund).
23-year-old Darya Domracheva won her first Olympic medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, which was 15km individual bronze.
Four years later Darya Domracheva produced a fabulous performance and clinched three gold medals in five days at the Sochi Olympics. Thus she became the first woman to take three gold medals in biathlon events at the same Olympic Games.
Her first gold came after the 10km pursuit. Darya Domracheva started from ninth position but easily outpaced all her rivals and missed only once at the last stage. As a result Domracheva finished in first place leaving Tora Berger (silver) and Slovenia’s Teja Gregorin (bronze) behind.
A second gold medal was won in the 15km individual. Belarusian Nadezhda Skardino clinched bronze in this race, with Switzerland’s Selina Gasparin breaking up the all-Belarus podium with silver.
Domracheva continued her stunning performance in Sochi by clinching a third gold in the 12.5km mass start. With one penalty, she was ahead of Gabriela Soukalova of the Czech Republic and Tiril Eckhoff of Norway.
Darya Domracheva broke the Olympic record set by biathlete Kati Wilhelm. It should be noted that Domracheva is the first three-time Olympic champion in the world who won all individual competitions.
Despite the fact that Darya Domracheva devotes most of her time to sport she was also a good student. She graduated from the Belarusian State Economic University with a diploma in economy and tourism management in 2009 and right after that decided to obtain a second higher education degree in economic law.
The athlete created the movie “Darya Domracheva. Presenting Belarus” (2010) about the world of sport, life in the team and her first victories.
In 2010, after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver the Belarusian post service Belpochta issued stamps dedicated to Olympians, including Darya Domracheva.
In 2010 Darya Domracheva was named the Sportswoman of the Year and was awarded the title of the Honored Master of Sport.
Darya Domracheva and France’s Simon Fourcade starred in the humorous movie The Spy Who Loved Biathlon shot by the International Biathlon Union at the end of the 2012/2013 season. The filming took place in Antholz, Oslo, Sochi and Khanty-Mansiysk. Taking part in the filming were stars of the world biathlon Kaisa Makarainen, Martin Fourcade, Bjorn Ferry and Olga Zaitseva…
Darya Domracheva took part in the opening ceremony of the State Flag Square as one of the distinguished Belarusians on 2 July 2013.
2012 Olympic champion, “king of the small-bore rifle” Sergei Martynov and his coach Alexander Ivanov advised Darya Domracheva on shooting technique prior to the Sochi Olympic Games.
In line with Decree No.66 as of 17 February 2014 Darya Domracheva was awarded the title Hero of Belarus “for outstanding professional skills.” She became the first woman in the history of Belarus who deserved this honorary title.
Darya Domracheva was awarded the Holmenkollen Medal, Norway’s highest award in skiing instituted in 1895. Eight biathletes have been honored with the medal so far: Andrea Henkel, Ole Einar Bjorndalen and Michael Greis (2011), Magdalena Neuner, Emil Hegle Svendsen (2012), Tora Berger and Martin Fourcade (2013), Darya Domracheva (2014).
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