Winter Olympics 2018: Former KGB agent Darya Domracheva wins biathlon gold medal for Belarus

Darya Domracheva of Belarus won a gold medal on Thursday in the women’s 4x6km relay biathlon event at the Winter Olympics. This medal was her second of the Pyeongchang Games after a silver in the women’s 12.5km mass start.

Domracheva has now won six Olympic medals in biathlon — including four Olympic golds, which is more than any woman in history.

Darya Domracheva of Belarus celebrates after winning the gold medal. Reuters

Darya Domracheva of Belarus celebrates after winning the gold medal. Reuters

She won three gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Games. At Pyeongchang, she teamed with Nadezhda Skardino, Iryna Kryoko, Dzinara Alimbekava to win the race in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 3.4 seconds.

Domracheva is married to Ole Einar Bjourndalen from Norway, who is the most decorated Olympic biathlete of all time with 13 medals.

However, it isn’t just Domracheva’s sporting heroics that have made headlines. Domracheva has an exceptional knack for shooting, and she probably honed those skills when she worked at Belarus’ security agency, State Security Committee, which is called KGB.

Belarus is the only former Soviet Republic to retain the name for their country’s security agency. KGB is an initialism for Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti which translates as Committee for State Security in English.

Most other post-Soviet countries dropped the name as it became synonymous with Communist secret police and political repression.

“Domracheva had worked for the KGB until June 2014, but at the moment Darya is not an employee of the committee,” KGB spokesperson Dmitry Pabyarzhin told Inside The Games in 2016, when her past employment was first revealed.

According to Yahoo Sports, the information about her being a lieutenant for the KGB had been accidentally posted on the website of Dynamo Sports Club, a sports and fitness society founded in 1923 in the Soviet Union.

After her win, Domracheva said she was proud of how her team handled some difficult windy conditions and came away Olympic champions.

"It was very high pressure and a lot of challenges from the first day of the Olympic Games," Domracheva said. "All these (challenges) caused this gold medal. I think this is big, big for us.

"His emotions were the same as ours — he was so happy," Domracheva said about her husband who was at the venue cheering her on in the race's closing minutes, shouting times as she skied on past.

In the same event, Sweden rallied from nearly one minute behind early in the race to take silver, and France took bronze.

With inputs from AP

Published Date: Feb 23, 2018 17:43 PM | Updated Date: Feb 23, 2018 17:43 PM

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