Biathlete Klemen Bauer was a member of Slovenian national team in World Cup Biathlon for 16 seasons. He competed in as many as 400 races at the highest level before he put his skis in the corner and returned the rifle to the locker at the end of the season 2021/2022. He is now enjoying a new role as an expert commentator on national television.
In 16 years, the athlete from Ihan has gathered many memories and experiences, he had ups and downs, among which stand out the silver medal at the World Championship in Ruhpolding 2012 in the mixed relay in the team with Andreja Mali, Teja Gregorin and Jakov Fak, as well as the somewhat bitter fourth place at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
As a recent biathlon retiree, he got the opportunity to try his hand in the role of television expert commentator, and as he says, “on TV, during the broadcast, you kind of immerse yourself in the race, you fall into it”.
Feelings in a new role are interesting, different than before:. “ In December, when I went to Hochfilzen in my new role to test the course, I didn’t have this feeling that I had to compete and I didn’t miss the races. On the other hand, I was running in front of the spectators and it felt like I was still part of it all.”
He also gets to know the other side of biathlon races, what happens on the other side of the camera: “I notice I get energized when ours are competing. It gets to you, you go with them.”
With all his biathlon experience and knowledge, it is also important for TV broadcasts that he has good access to all important news from behind the scenes of the Slovenian team: “We stayed in good contact with the competitors and this is really helpful. I was also lucky that the young people strongly joined the national team last year and we became a real team.”
After the biathlon, the nearly 37-year-old Bauer also has time for a second career alongside television. But he is in no hurry: “Now, I finally have time for my family. We travel a lot with our little house on wheels. This year we went, among other destinations, through the Balkans – through North Macedonia to Greece and back through Albania and Montenegro.”
As an amateur, he also ventured into the waters of restoration. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic, he bought a 200-year-old homestead in Bela Krajina, which, due to its location near Kolpa, he sees primarily as a tourist potential: “We’re nomadic family and I can’t imagine being in one place for too long.”
During the time of the Coronavirus, he became very attached to the new house: “That’s when I started to rebuild. In the time of hysteria, closure of municipalities and other measures, I was able to go somewhere and I started to rebuild.”
This only deepened his sense of cultural heritage and he took on many things himself: “I know some things myself. It was also very interesting when I learned from different experts and masters. I also added some little things, brought an old wagon…”
He has completed his studies at Faculty of Sports, but is still deciding on a job: “I know that the job of a physical education professor is attractive, but somehow it’s not for me at the moment. I also wouldn’t work in an office for 8 hours. I also had the opportunity to work with the Faculty of Sports and to stay in biathlon.”
“I don’t know what awaits me. But I know that money is not the first priority. I need nature and free time and I am very attracted to different projects. Certainly more than some closed systems and processes. Probably I will help my home club a little more in the near future, as long as I still have good contacts in this sport.”
He remains loyal to sports and has already passed this on to his older son, the younger one will have to wait a little longer at the age of one and a half year: “Of course, it’s not possible to live without sports. Sometimes I still have the feeling that I’m an active athlete, on the bike I still go full speed. But of course it’s different now, without a heart rate monitor. Just like before, I’m in the mountains a lot and fly with a parachute. I remain faithful to this, but it’s easier now. I don’t look at the watch anymore.”