Banita and Arand: Pfeiffer follows Pfeiffer – a family story in biathlon

Banita and Arand: Pfeiffer follows Pfeiffer - a family story in biathlon

Status: 02.12.2021 at 8:47 am.

Although Germany’s most successful biathlete in recent years, Arnd Peifer, swaps skis and rifles for the Sportschau microphone and reports from the World Cup as a TV expert, the name Peifer is still not missing from the start list. it happens. Some bizarre family story.

Arndt Peiffer has to smile slightly when he takes out his cell phone in stersund. “I brought my family tree with me,” he says, staring with concentration at the screen. The 34-year-old Olympic champion takes a deep breath and begins. “So our grandfathers are cousins. That means our great-grandfathers are brothers. And that in turn means that our great-grandfathers are the same person.” Olympic champion smiles.

Banita Pfeiffer – From Canada

As strange as it may sound, this season not only has one Peiffer skipped the World Cup, but there’s a new Peiffer as well. Benita Pfeffer is 21 and debuts for Canada. a little crazy.

At the Ostersund Biathlon Stadium, Benita Pfeffer does her lap during training. Mountains up, mountains down. Outside the shooting range, sometimes five attempts lie down, sometimes five standing. This is the first time that an athlete from Canmore, Canada has competed in the World Cup. “I’m extremely nervous before the race,” she says. “I really can’t handle the pressure yet.” Good for those who have a biathlon legend and have the right mentor in their family.

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As a source of inspiration within the Arand family

“The castor is a huge inspiration to me,” says Banita. “And he always helps me. Then we write together and exchange ideas.” The Peiffers, in this case Banita and Arand, have known each other for many years and have met at various family get-togethers that usually take place every three years.

The first time they spent a long time together was at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada. “This is where Banita grew up,” says Arndt Pfeiffer. “So my parents stayed with their parents during the games, and I went to visit several times accordingly.” Just a real family thing.

From cross-country skiing to biathlon

It could not have been predicted at the time that the then eleven-year-old Benita, whose German grandparents had moved to Canada, would take over from her famous relatives at the Biathlon World Cup. Benita Pfeffer originally comes from cross-country skiing, which is much more popular in Canada than biathlon.

Since Banita could not find a cross-country trainer in the meantime, the game changed. “There are many more cross-country skiers than biathletes,” is how she describes the state of her country. “Of course it opened up a lot of career opportunities for me in biathlon, simply because the number of really good biathletes isn’t that big.”

New tasks for both peiffers

From this year she is focusing on biathlon. The time since Arand’s retirement last winter is too bad for a family reunion. “Unfortunately, Arand and I missed each other at the World Cup by a year. Of course, it would be great if he came there first.” That’s right, but this Peiffer family story wouldn’t really be complete if it weren’t for a reunion in tersund, Sweden. Because, as luck would have it, Arnd Peiffer is celebrating his debut as a sports show expert in front of TV cameras this week.

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“I really hope we see each other here in stersund,” said the swingers from Lower Saxony. I’ve written to him already. “But of course I don’t want to offend him and then I’m a little careful. He has enough to do. But I’ll keep my eyes open for him.”

Role Model Arnd

Benita Pfeffer smiles as she talks about her distant cousin, from whom she can learn as much as she says. “Arand is a very humble person. And even after this illustrious and successful career, he remains the most humble athlete ever. I can certainly learn from him.”

Vinay must be something that combines the Peifer Biathlon family, success and sporting ambition with another. “Of course I’d like to do it like my cousin,” says Banita Pfeiffer. “A few World Cup victories and Olympic medals would be great.”

The Peiffer name will therefore continue to be an integral part of the Biathlon World Cup – on the starters’ list and in front of the cameras. And if that also leads to regular family reunions, all the better. You don’t need a family tree to explain this particular relationship between Banita and Arand.


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