POV podcast transcript: Mark Arendz

Transcript: Mark Arendz on Player’s Personal Voice podcast

November 23 2021

Anastasia:  We’re approximately 100 days til the iciness Paralympics begin.  which means that, palms crossed, that we’re additionally approximately ONE HUNDRED days clear of any other spectacular efficiency (or two… or three!)  from biathlete Mark Arendz.

i don’t concern approximately jinxing the guy by means of pronouncing that, for the reason that cross united states skier and shooter has an insatiable hunger to better his personal results.  He can have been on fireplace on the 2018 Paralympics, however what Mark Arendz recollects so much obviously from all his wins are the thousand tiny tactics he can still toughen  in a notoriously tough game.


Anastasia:  Thank You so much for taking the time. i have admitted that if i was now not an extended track velocity skater, my oldsters had been going to place me in biathlon, so it is nice to speak with the Goat!

Mark Arendz: Neatly, actually humorous factor my parents if truth be told had been debating to move east or west once they immigrated from Holland to right here, and i am positive if i might have been right here within the west, it might had been. i’d had been a speed skater.

Anastasia:  We’d have been flip flopped. Biathlon is the most fascinating. it is considered one of the most attention-grabbing sports, i believe. So that is a blunt method to ask it. But how have you ever kept hungry? I imply, you might have received such a lot. Eight Paralympic medals. Flagbearer in Pyeongchang. How do you keep hungry?

Mark Arendz: Neatly, i feel that’s the beauty of biathlon. there may be at all times more to be had. I kind of said i used to be always chasing that absolute best race, and there is all the time those little components that i am….neatly, you recognize, now and again I Am snowboarding neatly, however i’ll be snowboarding faster. Or, i may be shooting well, however i could be capturing faster or higher. And so i think the ones parts really help for me to keep hungry.


, what is the limit i can push within the shooting? how briskly can i go together with taking pictures earlier than lacking? As A Result Of that is simply i can’t manage to pay for misses.. And so it’s like finding that limit of ways a long way…Can I do it without breathing is my subsequent query!


after which on the snowboarding, it’s a whole different record of questions. you realize, am i able to be quicker here? Can I? Um, am i able to educate more difficult? Can I height higher with certain occasions, such things as that? So for me, biathlon has always been that best steadiness of looking to in finding, where am i able to push a bit bit extra? and because of the two sports, i guess there may be just more extent of puts to improve.


Anastasia:  Are you a better shooter or a better skier?

Mark Arendz: better shooter.

Anastasia:  Or is that a foolish question like, i know you almost certainly get that a lot.

Mark Arendz: So it is there are days the place both, you understand, one or the other is more potent. generally over a career, I’ve at all times been an improved shooter. and not as strong snowboarding. So the capturing has all the time on a regular basis saved me in a lot of the races. But now the snowboarding is beginning to seize up as well. And so I’m yeah, depending on the race.

Anastasia:  where you good at ‘Duck Hunt?’

Mark Arendz: No, I by no means played.

Anastasia:  Oh, come on!

Mark Arendz: I never shot till i started capturing biathlon.

Anastasia:  I simply went skeet shooting with my other people because they have got a farm in Saskatchewan and i was brutal. I hit. I hit considered one of the clay pigeons, one time. i was fascinated with you, i used to be like, My God, I Wouldn’t be good at biathlon!

Mark Arendz: Oh yeah, with us it is repetition. it’s usually repetition. And, you understand, we are doing thousands and heaps of rounds in a yr and we’re at all times running at trying to paintings inside of what we are doing. So while we are coming in, we are not essentially maintaining our breath or seeking to calm her center rate as briefly as imaginable. We’re seeking to paintings inside that.

Because we cannot look forward to our heart rates to come down. So so much of the preparation, especially now that we’re on snow, we will actually actually dial this in… is definitely coming within the method we want to come in in competition and lay down and the place everything’s just going crazy,but we’ve got to search out that great little pathway, that calm pathway in there someplace that allows us to be both focussed and roughly blockading the whole thing out. And so we’re simply focussed on seeking to get what we want: the ones process, the ones steps that we need in order to shoot smartly.


Anastasia:  So how do you teach for biathlon? I mean, it’s like raw brute energy and then so much finesse.  how do you do that? and also you just visualize? I Am so focused on that.


Mark Arendz: I i believe it is… i like that problem. It’s the ones blending the ones two things. The yeah, like you stated, the brute power of snowboarding, the all out attempt and then being able to. For me, it’s:  I hit this marker and that i transfer, and it is like, ‘ADEQUATE, I’m a shooter now’, and i even say it in my head. ‘I Am a shooter now’. And for me, that simply begins a sequence reaction. OK, I Am looking at the wind flags, I Am having a look at the people in front of me, if they’re going to move in and out of the variability, as a result of that may well be chaotic.  I’m taking a look on the Solar, I Am taking a look, GOOD ENOUGH, how do I Feel a handy guide a rough little take a look at? ADEQUATE, I Think like I’m in point of fact pushing it, so maybe i need to take that additional breath while I lay down, in finding my rifle, lay down. You go through that process and all the time, I’m kind of subconsciously, facing that tick list. And except there is something that comes out of it and be like, Oh no, that does not really feel proper, OK, now I simply and then get into position and that calm, and that i in point of fact love that feeling of that transition.


 and then having the ability to… the whole lot comes in combination for that one shot. And yeah, you’re balancing on the smallest, smallest mistake may imply a miss or the adaptation among a miss and a hit, and that could be your race to boot, proper off the bat. And i do know I struggled with that a few years in the past where it was:  i used to be afraid to take the ones omit. i was afraid to overlook as a result of I knew i wished the hitting. Hits have been what i wished so as to be successful. i used to be so afraid i used to be in fact slowing my shooting down. I had terrible taking pictures.


and finally, it’s like, Let’s try something… i have to be competitive. And I discovered that my best possible shooting has been while I’m aggressive and going for it and never, you know, I Am virtually daring myself to hit.

Anastasia:  You Assert it’s a steadiness. if you happen to achieve five kilos, does that simply have an effect on the whole lot, not just your skiing, however your taking pictures?

Mark Arendz: It is dependent where it is if it is in my cheeks. Yeah, evidently!  and there’s at all times there is always that modify. In Truth, the solar, the  wind, the Sun, the humidity, these kinds of little elements will play into it.

We’ve had ranges where we educate within the afternoon while it’s heat and the next morning it’s melted so much that you’re two or three inches lower and that adjustments the whole lot. So it is adjusting to these.

we want consistency. the most productive shooters are constant and we want the similar factor over and over again. we would like the rifle to touch your cheek just in the related spot. we want it to really feel like it is on the related part of our bones.

Anastasia:  you want to get a Botox sponsorship pal. i’ll run your campaign at the moment.

Mark Arendz: Keep it great and flush!

Anastasia:  Nice. Great. You Got to have a night cream, for sure. Yeah.

Mark Arendz: So a lot of these different things will modification through the years, and it’s approximately seeking to repeat the same thing, however in different prerequisites.


Anastasia:  Let’s back up a couple of years, go back to Pyeongchang. You had so much success. How has lifestyles modified when you consider that then?

Mark Arendz: In some way, now I’m so much more mature and i needed to be more mature as an athlete so as to take the following step after Pyeongchang. The success of Pyeongchang, i think even a week after, it is like, how do you most sensible this? And i suppose for me, my resolution actually straight away was once, i do not top this. i have to adapt into one thing other. The cases of Pyeongchang just arrange the ability to be that a hit, and people won’t ever be there once more, and to be at that level. i think it’s unrealistic to head after that again and to say that’s the goal. And so for me, i’ve a very an identical objective to Pyeongchang, and that’s whilst i am getting to the start line. On March 5th, 2022, I Am Going to be at the perfect i will be.

Absolute Best prepared, have the most productive skis, i’ve the best health, after which I throw down within the race and when I pass the finish line, necessarily I just positioned my cards on the table and say, Beat them should you can!  And i believe that’s been,  that began in Sochi, that roughly mindset, that more or less technique to results or efficiency there. And it was very successful for me in Pyeongchang. And now I need to take that additional now into Beijing. And i think that’s the easiest manner for me to… i’m not taking a look to repeat the results. I Am looking to evolve the performance and see what happens after that.

Anastasia:  Used To Be the luck and all the results cracked as much as what you concept it could be?

Mark Arendz: I nonetheless can not believe those results. there were days…. and and what was once neat was once it was effects and function from in every single place. Like, I had dangerous effects and still was once able to… the dash involves mind. That was once a poor tactical race for me. I made so many errors or even in the final 200 metres, I made such a lot of mistakes that i’m very disenchanted with, even nonetheless, and i’m engaged on the ones errors, but i think they are roughly ingrained to paintings on the ones issues, and that’s the reason more or less the lesson I learnt from those sprints. And, you recognize, fortunately I’m 6’3″ and used to be in a position to learn the road for that bronze. And i believe among all six races, there have been just days where I woke up and knew lately used to be going to be a medal profitable efficiency and different days the place it’s like, OK, smartly, you were given to be sure that the stairs are right or that is not going to be great.

And it used to be really interesting. there were races that were really well done, like the gold and in the lengthy distance within the biathlon and different races the place i didn’t really feel excellent but pushed via, found a distinct angle to work on, found a different tactic on a hill or focussed on method, and people led me to the good fortune.

Anastasia:  You have been candid and you mentioned having to re be informed, , the whole lot that individuals with fingers do. So clearly, all those challenges set you up completely for biathlon. What do you mean by way of that?

Mark Arendz: Smartly, i think i believe it is all sport actually… dealing with losing my arm at seven. The docs have been, it was kind of a wierd comment from them, nevertheless it was once. They said it used to be kind of the perfect age. i used to be sufficiently old to realise what had came about and take into account that, but in addition young enough to kind of adapt. And there have been demanding situations that took for much longer to conform and issues I simply skip altogether. Monkey bars? Don’t even start. However i feel it is finding out the ones little things learning to care for everyday challenges. you know, how do you cut a bun with a knife? Reducing slices of tomato, things like that. So the ones are all the little…., there’s a handful! Tying my sneakers was once certainly one of the onerous ones. And it wasn’t till I noticed this girl in a lovely purple get dressed that i was like. GOOD ENOUGH, she will be able to do it with one hand. i can do it with one hand too, so.  And as an athlete. It’s something we do, , or thrice a day, I’m tying my footwear.


So there are most of these little challenges i think helped get me practised for loss of a better word at dealing with demanding situations right away, that’s something that we all as athletes enjoy. we’ve got these little challenges. From Time To Time it is the problem of just improving, you realize, looking to get that new PB. a new file, whatever it will be or just getting one thing proper technically. And we have these little challenges. And i think growing up and having to be informed these types of new little issues made me mindful. And yeah, i was in a position to simply kind of take that first hand revel in and bring it to game and i nonetheless do.

Anastasia:  You mentioned that sport is like treatment for you and that it satiates a hunger. What are you hungry for?

Mark Arendz: Simply continuously bettering. I wish to see, no longer necessarily see what my limits are, however see how far i will be able to push those. And that’s the bodily limits of seeking to push the psychological limits of, you recognize, can,if the whole lot goes fallacious and not anything is going right, am i able to still be in a position to flip at the transfer and be like, GOOD ENOUGH, that is a good performance and never permit outside things hassle me. Those are the bounds i truly wish to push, and i’m curious to see how some distance i can cross.

Anastasia:  Do you now not get scared of the ache, regardless that, like i would get…Oh my gosh, I Might need to do a 15 hundred metre or one thing that used to be too long and i’d be so scared. Like, it hurts. i can handiest imagine.

Mark Arendz: i think that is there are days, yeah, completely, where it’s like, GOOD ENOUGH, this is not likely to be fun, this is unlikely to be excellent, it is going to be scary and i’m not having a look forward to it. However additionally it is OK, possibly that’s the day the place something else occurs. i do know some days I Am on the lookout the window. It’s like, Huh, that is a foot of fresh snow there and it is still snowing. And That I needless to say,


Anastasia:  i will’t imagine that isn’t essentially the most fun to ski.


Mark Arendz: it is. And within the finish, it is like, ADEQUATE, well, I Will have to move and do that exercise, and it’s going to be as much as my knees. And I understand that a pair of these exercises, one in New Zealand specifically, it was once an afternoon workout. The hill is where the place we are snowboarding, it is closed as a result of no one can get to it. We Are just staying right on the web site. So lets just exit the door and pass. And opening the door used to be difficult enough with that much snow. And I remember it was once an hour long chortle. I just giggled and had such a lot fun in these unattainable prerequisites like I Am making monitor. nobody else is out there. i can’t see a specific thing, and i am simply laughing at how silly i’m to be available in the market. however it was once such a lot fun and that i’ve had a pair of days like that, and i feel another one is simply the adventures i can have, whether it is a run or a motorbike or skis, you recognize, in the middle of nowhere in the heart of those mountains. And it’s like, OK, i would like to get myself back too, as a result of nobody’s going to find me if i do not.


Anastasia:  you could have loved the challenge of successful and you win a lot. Once More, congratulations. But you’ve at all times been candid with on the lookout for more that means by the use of recreation. What do you mean by means of which means?

Mark Arendz: Well, yeah. So a part of recreation being healing, i feel wholeheartedly within the power of game. Whilst I misplaced my arm and a lot of things, i may have simply been like, GOOD ENOUGH, smartly, that is it. But for me, i suppose being younger, I’m simply silly sufficient to just keep doing everything else, that i was doing, whether or not it i used to be helping my folks on the farm. But recreation was in reality someplace the place i could display others. My talent in place of my disability. i do not need fingers to cross-usa run, and so I and that i had the body sort for it and the will to run. And in order that was roughly the big one who i truly pushed as a kid. Going out to university was once pushing that: can i run? i will run and i can bounce. i will’t soar that prime.

Anastasia:  laughs

Mark Arendz: after which the next factor was once, ADEQUATE, i will use this to my receive advantages. My arm is more potent than so much people’s one arm. So then I more or less were given into a few throwing occasions. Then I realised i was manner too skinny for throwing events, the good ones.

And so it was simply most of these other sports activities allowed me to show folks i’ll still do whatever, inspite of one hand. And i feel that was once that was once the therapeutic side of it. And  now it’s developed into the success through my movements. you realize, i know find out how to teach. I wish to commit myself to that coaching. I wish to do the things right. you understand, there are days where i have to move and simply think about one easy motion so as to get that proper. And i think appearing that commitment to others and they see the exertions i will do and the progress that i’m getting, you recognize, i can keep in mind that first time coming to Canmore and the way i was skiing. And now there are other folks me, at how I Am skiing, just to look if they can copy that as a result of it’s I’ve labored on that, It Is now that efficient and i wish to be an example for others to say, ADEQUATE, that is what the most productive looks as if and push. after which i want afterward, perhaps step in there and be like, OK, permit’s push even additional.

Anastasia:  You strike me as someone who loves complexity and a complex problem. have you at all times been that method?

Mark Arendz: Yeah, i feel so. And i believe once more, it comes from having to do walk in the park, however in a different means. And so it is that the analytical facet of just trying to figure out, OK, what? What can i do? How can i do that? And what’s it very similar to? My dentist doesn’t approve of some of my methods, like it is retaining things with my tooth or open bottles with my enamel. And so my dentist is definitely not pleased with me. but it surely occurs.

Anastasia:  and you’ve been so candid with simply just like the role of game on your lifestyles and you’ve said i couldn’t reside with out sport. With Out insinuating that you’re retiring each time soon, what do you’re thinking that you’ll do whilst you hold him up?

Mark Arendz: I’ll Be staying in sport. Yeah, i think so. I Have at all times enjoyed, it and that i like I mentioned, i really like the power of sport. And for me, a objective that i have never even touched yet is trying to make other people better in the event that they need.

Whether that is a train or going into admin or or any stage of recreation, i believe I want to make the following generation higher. And i think that at that point, i think that’s how I Am Going to degree my successes. Is the next generation higher than i’m? Because in the event that they’re now not, i think I’m Going To feel like I’m failing myself and in my task, or in my role, whatever that might be.

So it’s a goal i have not began working on but…little items right here and there, but I’m always I wanting to understand extra approximately sport basically. I wish to be slightly actually a pupil of recreation. I wish to… you realize, i like velocity skating.  So I see what they are doing. What are they coaching for? How are they training? How are cyclists coaching? I want to think out of doors the box and be informed from different sports activities and see what we will deliver over. How’s this us of a doing something and how is that this other united states of america doing something? And i believe there is actually neat courses to be learnt in case you’re looking for it.

Anastasia:  Well, you certainly have had an excessively long occupation, so you have been gifted with perspective. What are a few of the demanding situations that you think the Nordic neighborhood has in Canada? It’s the sort of large game in so many other areas of the arena, and we now have had a lot of good fortune. I mean, in particular with folks such as you. However what are a few of the challenges that your sport’s facing? I

Mark Arendz: you recognize, there are days where i believe that listing is rather long. i feel it is… a part of it is awareness. we don’t see, see the game, and in most of Europe and all around the sector, they see the sport at the weekends of throughout the iciness, and i feel we are lacking that.

to not sound rude or anything, however we do not want to see highlights of hockey. you know, 4 or 5 instances each morning, let’s show more game, i believe. If we would have liked to, you may have 4 or 5 hours of different sports and cheering on.

In Europe, the competitions are all set up to match and move after one another. So it may well be the primary run of Alpine after which a go-united states of america race, then , just a little bit of ski jumping. Then it is again to the second run of an alpine race. Then it is biathlon and that’s the reason how it’s arrange. so that you have 4 hours, you’ve a whole day in case you wish to watch. We want to deliver the sport to the bigger populations of Canada, whether or not that’s Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, these massive cities, we need to take a look at to get the game there and. i believe our know once luck comes, other people will be drawn to the game. And once folks see the sport, the youngsters are going to be, you realize, I need to do that. that appears fun. I need to see different children soak up the problem of biathlon, not only one exhausting game, however attempt to do two on the comparable time!

Anastasia:  Beautiful laborious. It Is arduous, even simply staring at it. I Am like conserving my breath while I’m observing it. How so much pressure do you set on yourself, even though, knowing that you just are certainly one of the faces that may get the luck, can get the game significant publicity?

Mark Arendz:  At The second, i don’t think about it. Or in the moment I must say, i don’t consider it, i believe. For me, it’s my success has all the time come from the method. i would like to be: these are the stairs i need. i want to make a decision what i would like to do to be ready and then do those issues in my head, and yes, that’s occasionally adapting the race plan if i need to, but in addition, you recognize, having a plan and executing that plan.


Anastasia:  March 5th, 2022 How steadily do you take into consideration that date?

Mark Arendz: Oh, handiest the final three years! No. And for me, it’s the beginning ceremonies are on the 4th. i know that, but i do not wish to be able for the outlet ceremonies. I want to be able for that first race, and that’s the reason why it’s usually been for me, March 5th that’s the day the place i would like to be able for and that’s in my head. that’s the time that i need to be focussed on the end of my timeline. after which it’s approximately execution. Yeah, it’s usually been roughly the joy I seemed it up a couple of weeks after Pyeongchang ended. It’s like, ADEQUATE, that’s the purpose, as a result of for me, i want that that point and that’s the reason the place I need to get to.

Anastasia:  What time will your race start?

Mark Arendz:  Around noon.

Anastasia:  Is Not that’s not that wild that you’ll inform somebody the place you’re going to be 4 years out in advance? What do your days seem like from right here until Beijing?

Mark Arendz: For me, i think the massive one is just making smarter selections, using each opportunity to get the most efficient, what i need, whether that’s, i would like to work in this part today or i need to do this in this race. We Are into the joys stuff. that is now, it’s concerning the last few weeks, last few months and at last it will be the last few days and it’s about having that amusing putting in place the whole lot. i do know I’ve done the work and it’s now simply pretty much putting the icing on the cake.

Anastasia:  Will you shave your beard? I’m considering aerodynamics, good friend.

Mark Arendz: I Am serious about it, but i’m not sure yet

Anastasia:  Could that really have…. it drives me crazy when I see pace skaters with a beard…

Mark Arendz: , i do know,Hey, complete speedsuit and a beard? i do not understand. i haven’t raced the video games with. But no, it began with the pandemic. i am not sure what  i thought approximately it. Like, what am I going to do with it? But not sure but .

Anastasia:  That may well be just the little millimeter.  Yeah, your ninth medal

Mark Arendz:  point seven of a second.

Anastasia:  Yeah, yeah. I savour you taking the time so much. It Is beautiful to see you. We, of course, we would be pumping iron in combination about a decade in the past. So it is it is humorous how that is complete circle. i really appreciate your time.

Mark Arendz: Thank You for having me.

Yeah, thank you. and also you got me on to the mountains. Let’s simply recognize, I Am with a staff of individuals from Toronto. They’re like, we’ve got to do that outdoor! I Am like, Yeah, I will have to take a second and just forestall and scent the roses. We Are beautiful lucky.

Mark Arendz: Exactly, yeah, that recent air!

Anastasia:  peace.


Canada has some attractiveness spots, but no longer many can dangle a candle to Canmore, Alberta.

That Is the place Mark and i stuck up, on the edge of Frozen Thunder, the early season nordic training monitor there.

you’ll enjoy the scenery too… in a video model of this chat at CBC sports youtube channel

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