The 33-year-old Mäkäräinen won the World Cup Total Score in 2011 and 2014 finished fourth in that season-long competition last year. She is a former cross-country skier, who decided to become a biathlete after watching the 2003 IBU World Championships on television. In the early part of her biathlon career, Mäkäräinen showed promise with fast skiing, but never reached the podium. Everything changed in the 2010-11 season when she opened the season with two victories in Östersund and never looked back and claimed the Total Score title. Since then she has won 19 times, been on the podium 61 times, and won four IBU World Championships medals, including the 2011pursuit title. Mäkäräinen is known as an intense competitor, with a dry sense of humor who counts knitting and reading as two of her hobbies.
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