Martin Ponsiluoma has taken a big step this season. From the fact that previously on the men’s side it has basically only been about Sebastian Samuelsson when it comes to individual top places, Ponsiluoma has during the season taken several podium places – and his sensational World Cup gold in sprint in Pokljuka.
In prize money from the International Biathlon Federation, IBU, this means that so far this year he has withdrawn just over a million. A real development if you compare with last year when earned about 150,000 in prize money.
– It means a lot. It is a great security that you can continue to hold on – even if you have a worse year, you can manage, so it feels really nice, says Ponsiluoma.
TT: Is there anything special you will treat yourself to?
– It might be a bigger apartment a little later this spring, I’m hungry for that.
Sebastian Samuelsson is just above Ponsiluoma, with just over 1.1 million in prize money from the IBU during the season so far.
– It gives a sense of security in my everyday life, at the same time as it also gives me opportunities to focus on the investment even more and invest in my own career. To look at, what do I need and what do I want to do, and I will not be hindered by the economy, says Samuelsson and hints at a “fun project” he has underway.
– Unfortunately, I can not say what it’s about.
Reached the roof
In addition to the prize money from the IBU, the skiers receive a fixed amount from the Swedish Biathlon Association, and a bonus based on performance throughout the season.
For the bonus system, the union has a ceiling – which has already been reached.
– Yes, I’m pretty sure of that. The roof is connected to a dialogue we had with the active before the season, where we came to levels after what it has looked like before. And when there are fantastic successes as they have been, it is completely logical, says Rikard Grip, general secretary of the biathlon association.
TT: Can you review the roof after this season?
– It is probably always a dialogue about what conditions we should have before different seasons and it is important to look at a whole. We have a responsibility both to invest in regions and associations and provide the conditions for them to be able to do the achievements that they do. And there we have made major investments in the active ever since they joined the national team in 2015 with Wolfgang (Pichler), says Grip.
That the association has the opportunity to distribute bonuses to the riders – just like the opportunity to send them to training camps and fly charters during the season, is of course dependent on strong sponsorship partners. And interest in biathlon is growing, according to Grip.
– We notice that there is great interest and we must continue to do a good job to continue to increase the revenue side. We have actually noticed this throughout the season, and we also notice an increased interest among children and young people who want to try it.
TT: How important is it that there are more profiles, like Ponsiluoma?
– The more profiles, the better. Then it is also about creating a good dynamic in the team, that not all expectations land on one person. I think that is also very important from a performance point of view, says Grip.
Marie Carlsson / TT
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