Boundless sportsmanship: Biathlete Lesser is the new darling of the Russians

Biathlete Erik Lesser has many new fans. Not German, but Russian. “Right now my Instagram account is exploding. I find it blatant and funny how many people take an interest in a gesture that is simple for me,” said the 33-year-old, who selflessly helped his Russian opponent Eduard Latypow in the Corona emergency. “I think it’s nice that it’s being honored, but a quarter of that would be enough,” Lesser said, not entirely serious, with a wink.

Before his sixth place in the sprint on Thursday at the home World Cup in Ruhpolding, the Thuringian was followed by 91,700 fans on the social network. There are now more than 97,000 – and the new fans are almost exclusively Russian. “It’s easy for me to help. It’s nothing special, ”Lesser wrote to his Russian followers, whom he also expressly thanked.

After Latypow tested positive for the corona virus at the World Cup in Oberhof the previous week and two weeks of quarantine were ordered, Lesser equipped the Russian with a bicycle and a wheel roller. “After it became known, I told Russian television that they should pass my offer on to the team. They came to my place on Sunday evening and picked it up,” Lesser reported at the World Cup in Ruhpolding. He also gave Latypow shoes and a pair of trousers.

“Once a day he’s allowed to go out for two hours to train. He still has to hold out until Tuesday next week and I hope that he has passed the time as best he can and can still maintain a certain form until Beijing,” said Lesser, who this Saturday (2.30 p.m. / ZDF and Eurosport ) as always, as the starting runner of the relay, wants to give his comrades-in-arms Roman Rees, Benedikt Doll and Philipp Nawrath a good starting position.

And if it should work out after two fourth places with the first relay podium place for the German men, one or the other follower and fan could come along.

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