Hugh Pritchard, Biathlete

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Hugh Pritchard

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Saturday 12 May


Shooting at Hampton Rifle Club this afternoon: blistering sun, so mirage to contend with today, as well as wind. It is probably better to shoot indoors on a day like this, but I hate being indoors, and the gymn this morning was enough.

I went shopping the other day for rifle bits, and came back a lot poorer, but with all sorts of exciting toys. I got a telescopic sight to use occasionally in training: the idea is that it enables me to see what is happening both before and after the shot release (terrifying!), as well as isolating an element of shooting performance (if I shoot a lot better with the 'scope, then I know there was something wrong with my sighting).

Taking the rearsight off my rifle, I noticed that the foresight did not look straight: I loosened the bolts and bashed it with a mallet until it looked straight, and it is now almost a different rifle. It must have got twisted when the team bus drove over my gun in Ramsau last November. You can't trust anyone.

16 May Watching the bass player at an orchestral concert last night: utterly focussed concentration, with an obvious deep intuitive feeling both for what she was doing individually and the context in which she was working; frequent, instantaneous attentional shifts. Exactly what you need in biathlon.
17 May

Set the alarm extra early this morning to get to the rifle club before the wind got up: looked out of the window and saw the big sycamore opposite writhing in a gale. Back to bed.

My new DMS roller skis arrived this afternoon: very exciting.

Tuesday 29 May


To the British Olympic Medical Centre: to see a physio about my 'skating legs', which seem to be better now; and Britt the extraordinary head-shrinker.

Britt seems to be Norwegian, and works with the Nog biathletes and XC gang. Getting Dæhlie back on his feet was one of her less successful projects. She ought soon to know more about biathlon than I do, so I have requested that after her fortnight with the Nog team she run me through the programme.

I read that the bass player I wrote about on 16 May was a national-level 100m runner until injury made her a musician. Wow.