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Richard Mille - Interview with Johannes Thingnes Bø

Richard Mille Interview with Johannes Thingnes Bø

WorldTempus sits down with Norwegian Olympic Biathlete Johannes Thingnes Bø to talk about the biathlon, family life, and what happened after he walked into a Richard Mille boutique

Johannes Thingnes Bø is at the top of his game, winning five medals in the recent Beijing Olympics – four of which were gold – adding to an already long list of achievements. In addition to his Olympic success this year, his accolades include three medals in Pyeongchang in 2018, five Crystal Globes 2018-2019 with 16 individual events in the World Cup (a record in any one season), and a third consecutive World Cup win in 2021. 

He began a partnership with Richard Mille just before the pandemic started and we meet him at the Richard Mille Ski Clinic to learn more about his unique journey to the top. 

This is your first Richard Mille event. How are you enjoying it?

I think the first experience, no matter what it is, is the nicest one. I'm so happy to be here and proud to be a part of it all. It is a different kind of visit for me.  I could get used to this – skiing, lunch, a little wine, its good. It is different.  

Interview with Johannes Thingnes Bø

Johannes Thingnes Bø, Alexis Pinturault, Arnaud Jerald © Richard Mille

How is it different?

For my local sponsors in Norway, I tend to come for one hour, talk, and then leave. Here, it is more personal, and I like that. Working with Richard Mille is a little bit different from other watch brands. 

How did your partnership with the brand come about?

It all started when I was on vacation in New York with my wife in 2019. We were walking along the street looking in the watch stores and I stepped into the Richard Mille boutique. I had started thinking about how my sport could be perfect to partner with a watch brand because I am on camera for 30 seconds, two to four times every race day, three times a week, for seven months of the year. I stand there aiming at the targets, shooting for gold medals, and the cameras are on your eye, your hand, and your watch. 

This got me thinking that if I was to wear a watch while competing, I needed an ultralight watch, and there was only one brand for me! So, I went into the boutique and asked for the email of the marketing manager and wrote to him; he answered me right back. I couldn’t believe it!

Were you wearing watches before?

I got my first luxury watch in 2015. One of my teammates had a really nice watch. I had a limited budget but I wanted a nice watch that I could use. From there, I started to learn and read about watches and it became a big interest for me. 

How does it feel to wear the watch when racing?

It is an important part of my race gear now. You could say it is my lucky charm. It is motivating for me to look down at those 32 grams. 

Which model do you have?

The RM 67-02 Automatic unique piece in Norwegian colours with my initials on it. 

Interview with Johannes Thingnes Bø

Johannes Thingnes Bø © Richard Mille

Accuracy is so important in shooting. Did you have to adjust your type of shooting to accommodate for the weight of the watch?

No, but we do adjust the weight of the rifle. Our rifle has to be 3.5 kg minimum. So, you want to have a lightweight weapon when you are skiing. But if you are on the shooting range, in the wind, it is nice to have a heavy gun that won’t move, so you have to find a compromise. I’m at exactly 3.5 kg. 

Does having a watch help you to appreciate your time?

Yeah, that’s my philosophy. I try to make the best out of my life, both professionally as an athlete, but also as a husband and father. 

How do you train for the biathlon? It is a special kind of sport.

My best suggestion to others is to just listen to your body, to your mind, and to believe in yourself. Of course, you have to listen to your coaches, talk with your teammates, learn from them, try new things and so on, but after some years, I think you know what works for you.

Do you prefer to be the hunter or the hunted one?

The hunter, for sure because that’s when you are at your best. It is hard to maintain the top-level position because you have no one to hunt and everyone is hunting you. If you are the hunter, it is normal to be bad, but sometimes you are the best, so coming from behind is always the best thing. 

Do you have any hobbies outside of the sport?

Reading watch magazines! 

 

The perfect answer to end a perfect interview, thank you so much!

 

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