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Liv Grete Skjelbreid Poirée (born 7 July 1974) from Hålandsdalen, Fusamarker, near the city of Bergenmarker in western Norwaymarker, was a career biathlete. 167cm (5'6"), 61kg (134lbs, 9st 8lbs). On 20 March 2006, Poirée announced her retirement, effective at the end of the season which ended on 26 March at the Holmenkollenmarker. She said she was retiring because of her young daughter, Emma, her family and that she did not have the motivation to continue.

Family life

Poirée is married to French biathlete Raphaël Poirée. They first met at the 1992 Junior World Championships and began dating in 1996, marrying on 27 May 2000 in Norway. They have three daughters, Emma (born 27 January 2003), Anna (born 10 January 2007) and Lena (born 10 October 2008). Emma had traveled with the Poirées to all of their biathlon events, with a full-time nanny (older sister Ann Elen) for the first two years. But Emma was sick several times over those two seasons, and the Poirées decided she should remain at home during the build up to the Olympic games in Torino, and only travel with them every third race weekend. So during the 2006 Olympic season Emma stayed with her maternal grandparents (Knut and Oddrun). The Poirées are adamant to keep Emma away from the press, wanting their daughter to have as normal a childhood as possible.

The family spend most of their time in Norway and have a house in Eikelandsosen, near Poirée's childhood home. They also keep a small apartment in Villars-de-Lans, Francemarker, site of the 1968 Olympic luge venue. Liv Grete and Raphaël initially lived in the 24 square meter flat in Villars de Lans, but when Emma was due Liv Grete wanter to be near her parents. She has said they plan on living there for at least four years.

Poirée has two older sisters, Linda Kristin, and Ann Elen. Ann Elen was also a biathlete. In fact Ann Elen skied the first leg of the relay in Nagano 1998 when Norway came third, with Liv Grete sking the anchor leg. Her brother-in-law is Norwegian biathlete Egil Gjelland.Liv Grete grew up on a dairy farm in Hålandsdal.

On 7 July 2006, it was announced that Liv Grete was pregnant once more. In an interview with TV2 on her birthday she admitted that she was pregnant but did not know when the baby was due.

Daughter no. two was born 10.01.07 and named Anna. Since dad, Raphael could not see his new born he wrote welcome Anna, 10.01.07** on the back of his ski suit.[53846] Poirée's pregnancy (in Norwegian)

Their third daughter named Lena was born on October 10th 2008

Early career

As a child Poirée spent a lot of her time with her older sisters, and consequently took part in the sports her sisters did. She played football, kayaked in the lake next to the family home, cross-country skied, and she used to run up to the family cottage up in the mountains, touch the wall and run back down.

Poirée excelled in football and biathlon, and first started competing in biathlon when she was nine. She borrowed her father's rifle for her first race. He also built a small shooting range on the family’s farm so his young daughters could practice. However as she was finishing high school, she was undecided as to whether continue with biathlon or to train as a hairdresser. She then received an offer from a new sports school, which developed young talent, based in Geilomarker, to train and study there, still she was undecided, but her friends and family succeeded in persuading her to attend the school, and that after the first year if she did not like it, she could then leave. It turned out that Poirée did enjoy the school, and was in the same year as Ole Einar Bjørndalen, and was taught by Odd Lirhus, who would become her coach between 2003 and 2006.

World Cup

Poirée won the IBU overall World Cup once, in the 2003/04 season, it was also the first for Norway since Anne Elvebakk won the event in 1988. She won the overall title by 95 points over Olga Pyleva, and took three of the four individual disciplines, the sprint, pursuit and mass start. She came fourth in the individual. Norway also won the relay.Her first season was in 1995/96, she finished 30th. In her next season, 1998/99, she shot up the table and came 5th in the end. The year after however she finished 21st. In 2000/01 Poiree finished the season in 2nd place, 217 points behind Magdalena Forsberg. She was 2nd in the sprint, pursuit and mass start, and came 3rd in the individual. Norway won the relay. She also came second the year after, again behind Forsberg, this time by 149 points. She was 2nd in the individual, sprint and pursuit, and 9th in the mass start. Norway came 2nd in the relay. Poiree missed the 2002/03 season because of her pregnancy. The year after however she captured the crystal globe of the World Cup. 2004/05 though was a poor year, Poirée had to retire from the season due to illness, missing the World Championships in the process. She ended up in 22nd place, 532 points behind Sandrine Bailly. She was suffering from a virus closely related to mononucleosis (glandular fever). The virus took away about 15–20 percent of her energy according to Lars Kolsrud, doctor for Norway's biathlon squads.

Poirée finished the 2005/06 season in 12th place, 511 points behind the overall winner Kati Wilhelm. She ended in 21st place in the individual, 64 points down on Svetlana Ishmouratova. She was 12th in the sprint, 190 behind Wilhelm. Her best standing was in the pursuit, where she finished the season in 9th place, 177 points behind Wilhelm, and she finished 13th in the mass start, with 90 points less than Martina Glagow. Norway were 4th in the relay.

Poirée was a steady shooter over the years. Her overall percentage was in the high 70% – low 80%. As with the vast majority of biathletes, her prone shoot was her best, averaging mid 80% shooting, whilst her standing shoot gradually got better, from 65% in 1999/00 to 74% in the 2005/06 season. Poirée achieved 46 podium finishes, 22 in first place, 15 in second, and 9 in third place.

Poirée was coached by Rolf Sæterdal until 2003, when he died suddenly. She was then coached by Odd Lirhus until 2006, when she retired.

Poirée won the Holmenkollen ski festivalmarker biathlon competition four times with two wins each in sprint (2000, 2001) and in mass start (2000, 2004).

Olympics

Poirée competed in three Olympic games, the first in 1998 in Nagano. She has three medals, two silver and one bronze, two of them (one silver & one bronze) came in the relay (2002 & 1998), the other silver came in the individual in 2002. Her medal count, especially her solo medal count is quite poor for a biathlete of her calibre, though she did come fourth in both the sprint and the pursuit in 2002. Her 2006 results were poor, much in the same pattern as the Norwegian Olympic team on the whole. She finished 9th in the individual, 12th in the sprint, 6th in the pursuit, 18th in the mass start, and 5th in the relay (although Poirée did run a solid anchor leg).

World Championships

Poirée has 11 World Championship medals, 7 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. She won four of her gold medals in a single Championships, in Oberhofmarker in 2004, this is the first time a biathlete has won four golds in a single World Championships. Her first World Championship medal was a silver in the relay in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakiamarker in 1997. She then had to wait until 2000 for her next medal. She won two golds in Holmenkollen, in the sprint and the mass start. In 2001 in Pokljukamarker she won a gold in the pursuit, a silver in the individual, and a bronze in both the sprint and mass start. Her next Championships was in 2004, where she took the four golds. The one event she did not win was the individual where she finished eighth. She suffered from illness in the 2004/05 season, and came 37th in the sprint, and did not start in the pursuit. During the 2003/04 season Poirée was handed the wrong gold medal after she won Sundays 7.5km race. She was given the medal for the 15km event, which wasn't taking place until Tuesday.

Injuries

Poirée suffered a spate of injuries throughout her career. In the summer of 1995 she broke her wrist whilst swinging on monkey bars, then in the summer of 1997 she was jumping on a chair, fell and broke her elbow. She then broke the cast when she crashed while training on roller skis days later.She also suffers from chronic inflammation, but she has said it had got better since she gave birth. There was also the illness that drained her energy and forced her to finish the 2004/05 season early.

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