Famous Russian biathlon champion abandons Russia and joins Finnish national team
European biathlon champion (2017) and winner of the 2011 Universiade Daria Virolainen will represent the Finnish team at international competitions in the 2023/24 season. The 34-year-old Muscovite was granted the relevant permit by the International Biathlon Union (IBU).
Daria is the daughter of three-time Olympic biathlon champion Anfisa Rezzova. In 2007, she married Belarusian skier Roman Virolainen and gave birth to a son, Daniel. From 2013 to 2018, she took part in international competitions for the Russian national team.
In March 2019, she gave birth to her second son Alex-Christian. Since 2016, Virolainen and her family have lived in Finland, where she became a citizen in 2021.
During her career, Daria has twice reached the podium in individual races (both times in second place).
Initially, the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) blocked Virolainen's transfer to the Finnish national team, despite the fact that she had a Finnish passport. Because of this, Daria did not train with the national team, but rather got in shape at her own expense.