Biathlete Jackson undecided about future post Sochi

08 February 2014 / 07:26

British biathlon's post Olympics future might be secure but Lee Jackson admits he's yet to decide on his long-term plans in the sport.

Two-time Olympian Jackson, who makes his first appearance in Sochi in today's 10km sprint, will be nearly 38 when the next Games are staged in Pyeongchang.

But that’s not to say he won’t carry on with his hero and six-time Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjoerndalen set to make his sixth and final Games appearance in Sochi aged 40.

After some financial worries, British Biathlon recently secured a long-term sponsorship deal, but Jackson's only thought is securing Britain's best biathlon finish since Jason Sklenar’s 48th 12 years ago in Salt Lake City.

“It’s possible I’ll become an active soldier, it depends how the military want to use me, whether they’d use me in a sport capacity or I'd become a normal soldier again,” he said.

“I’ve been a full-time athlete since 2001. I joined the military aged 16 years and four months in 1997. My dream job was always to be an infantry soldier and somehow I got into biathlon.

“I will be 34 just a few days after the Games and biathlon is changing. At Turin 2006 the average age was about 28 for a medal winner, at Vancouver 2010 it dropped quite significantly.

“Athletes from Nordic nations are maturing quicker; they are getting more consistency at an early age. But as a British biathlete it’s very different. It’s a ten-year journey to get to a level where you can establish good results at international level.

“And then you’ve got another four or five years before you can look at breaking into the top 30 in the World Cup and then you are probably ready to retire.” 

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