A chat with Andrea (Henkel) Burke!

Andrea (Henkel) Burke is a four-time Olympic athlete, with two Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship titles. During 16 years of racing she won 46 times, finished second 38 times and third place 22 times at World Cup level. She is one of the greatest biathlon athletes that Germany has had.

What is your best memories from Holmenkollen?
I have many great Memories from Holmenkollen. I won couple of times, also the Mass start 2012, when the King of Norway was watching the races in the stadium. It was a big honor for me to meet him after the race. Another very unique and special memory was when I became the first female Biathlete who got the Holmenkollen Medal. Thank you very much again for this high valued Award!

Can you say something about what the German fans meant to you during you career?
During my career, the whole Biathlon fan base increased a lot. This was such a great experience, to see how this sport grew and German fans made a big part of this growth. I was great, racing in stadiums with tons of black-red-yellow flags. We Germans got a lot of support when races went well, but also a great understanding when a day was not one of the best once. I have lots of stories, but ones I got a Chocolate Gold Medal for a pursuit at World Championships in Nove Mesto. I had the best netto time, but because of a bad sprint I “only” finished 6th.

Holmenkollen 2014, 12,5 km fellesstart

What do you miss the most from your professional career?
I loved training and calling it “my job”. I still think this is the best Job ever. I love to be challenged and challenging myself, and a Biathlon career clearly offers a lot of that.

Witch moment during your professional career are you most proud of?
I am most proud of a decision I made in March 2004. After two, not very exciting seasons of racing, I made myself a promise: I will try as hard and professional as I can – for two more years – then I will know, what level I would be capable to reach and never in my life would need to regret that I didn’t try hard enough! With this decision, I made it back be able to podium and could stick around for 10 more years.  

What motivates you nowadays?
I still have this drive to challenge myself and find the same pleasure in my new profession, I found racing Biathlon. I stick with the same promise from 2004 – try hard, be professional and enjoy the work, which needs to get done.