While training at Soldier Hollow this month, I got the opportunity to visit a class of 5th graders at Parley's Elementary School in Park City. We had plenty of time to talk about biathlon, traveling and answering their questions. This was a fun group who offered some great questions about skiing and shooting. Defining my sport, and its difficulty, really came through however once I showed them a paper target from the morning's training session that demonstrated what a group of 5 prone and 5 standing shots at 50 meters looks like, AND, with the help of their imaginations I demonstrated both shooting positions.
Demonstrating the standing position.
This is a lucky bunch of kids who are growing up in an Olympic town, just the same as I did. Growing up, I dabbled in speedskating, raced alpine competitively until I was 15, even tried figureskating (but ultimately chose skiing to my parents' great relief), my siblings ventured off into the freestyle world, I skied Bill Koch with the local ski club occasionally, took one shot at jumping off the 15m ski jump and also had a couple opportunities to give luge a try. Along with school, sports was obviously something I have always been in to, but honestly never thought it would actually become my career. In retrospect I am very glad that I had so many opportunities to take advantage of living in the wintry Adirondacks and was able to use sport as a mode for learning about my self, being a teammate, good sportswoman, getting outdoors, setting goals and achieving them. Now that I travel the world with biathlon, I am thankful I had a pretty good base to start from.