Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"The Team Behind the Team"

I just wanted to send a link to our media officer, Victoria's, article about USBA's Executive Director. Max Cobb, who many of you will get to meet up in Vancouver soon, is one of the integral parts of our "team behind the team." I've gotten to know Max more as I have moved up through the different USBA teams, and most recently while racing on the World Cup circuit; he's been there for my best event giving splits during my 23rd place in Korea at World Championships last year, and he's also been there for the toughest races, like last Sunday when I was lapped in the pursuit, just mentally and physically spent, he was the race official to usher me off the race course.

Anyways, enjoy the article:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hello friends,

As many of you have read, I have teamed up with heading into the Olympic Games and an article was just posted on about my teammates, Lowell and Laura, who are also promoting the organization.

My promise is to help Lake Placid's 4th grade elementary class learn more about recycling and our changing climate. It is a challenge, but I am excited to help out.

I understand that wearing green laces does not sound that effective, but for me, it has been a nudge towards being more active within my community to promote positive and efficient choices in our daily lives that lessen our negative impact on our environment. Also, I think it is only natural because of the efforts put forth by the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee. With all of the air travel that I do, I try my best in being environmentally conscious in other areas of my life. I am proud to wear Teko's recycled ski socks and before considering Mix1 as a sponsor I set up a more efficient recycling program at the Olympic Training Center so that I would be able to recycle the #5 plastic bottles that the protein drink comes in.

I will return to Ms. Smith's 4th grade after the Games and later in the spring. Such projects and a reminder of the "bigger picture" keep this lifestyle in balance. Do what you can, and take the opportunity to be motivated by fellow athletes!

Congrats to my fellow Nordic Olympic Teammates! - UPDATED

This week the majority of our Nordic Olympic Teams have been named. Most of us have been skiing together since we were young, or come from the same region, others have raced with us recently, like Caitlin Compton, who is now on the XC team, and the rest we've all gotten to know through our close-knit nordic community. Most of these athletes make their way through Placid at one point during the year, either for training camps or competition, and we all get to look for one another on Eurosport while racing on the World Cup circuits. Now, we'll all be under one roof and a part of 1 team at the Athlete's Village and at Whistler Olympic Park in just under a month.

US XC Team*
Kikkan Randall
Liz Stephen
Morgan Arritola
Caitlin Compton
Holly Brooks - just added
Andrew Newell
Torin Koos
Kris Freeman
James Southam
Garrot Kuzzy - just added
Simi Hamilton - just added

US Nordic Combined Team
Bill Demong
Todd Lodwick
Johnny Spillane
Brett Camerota
Tyler Fletcher

US Ski Jumping Team
Peter Frenette
Anders Johnson
Nick Alexander

US Biathlon Team
Lanny Barnes
Sara Studebaker
Laura Spector
Haley Johnson
Tim Burke
Lowell Bailey
Jay Hakkinnen
Jeremy Teela
Wynn Roberts

*Spots may be added:

Antholz-Anterselva WC 6 = one of the most beautiful places we get to race!

I am in between races at the moment and am preparing for the Sprint race tomorrow. I enjoy racing here, especially after having had the chance to train here for a week after Christmas this year. Besides, it is just a beautiful place; mountains, snow, sun, and great food!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

WC 5 Ruhpolding - Updated with photos!

Two needed days off back in Antholz will conclude my week of racing in Ruhpolding. The sprint on Wednesday was a good effort and I was very satisfied with my shooting. I am quite tired from holiday travel and training over the past few weeks, so stretching, sauna, jogging, napping, movie watching and reading is in order for the weekend.

And now UPDATED with photos from the week:

The scene when you head into Ruhpolding's Cheimgau Arena packed with fans ready for the night's event.

During training, the coaches are lined up behind their scopes watching shots and monitoring training. Our coaches are not hard to miss in our bright turquoise suits.

Ruhpolding is a fairly small venue that packs its fans in tight. These stands are not far from the shooting range, so that they can get a close up experience of the drama of biathlon race. As you race, weaving around large crowds, you are likely to get whaffs of brats and beer, be ushered along by massive waving flags hung on fishing poles, and even a receive a deafening blow from the loud, loudspeakers positioned throughout the course providing race commentary and Euro tunes, or even the numerous noisemakers and whistles favored by the die-hard German biathlon fans.

Looking down range as one the Canadian women shoots during training.

Racing at night is fun in and of itself, but when your trail is lit up bright has day, the excitement is elevated to an even higher feeling. Unfortunately, I did not benefit from the uplifting atmosphere as much as I would have liked, but that's okay - next time. BUT - our men's team did! The raced a great Relay and finished 6th - a season's best and a great result heading towards the Olympic relay in just one month!

Ruhpolding's venue is multi-purpose; part of our course uses the bottom of the ski jump outruns.

Post-race: did I mention the die-hard German fans? Here is Kati Wilhelm from the German women's team handing out autograph cards after our sprint race:

Team for Tomorrow Sends Aid to Haitian Olympic Committee!

One of the neat things about this year is the opportunity to become a part efforts that are not focused on a result, a qualification, a record, but rather on helping others around us in greater need.

I am a part of Team for Tomorrow, and will work among other Olympians to promote the ideals of the Olympics and as ambassador's of the the USOC's humanitarian relief fund. I just recently found out that this team will be sending donations to Haiti through its Olympic Committee as soon as possible after this week's devastating earthquake: press release.

Here is the email that I sent out to all of my sponsors and family earlier this week announcing my part of this new team:


USOC’S Team for Tomorrow Early this fall I was among 10 Winter Olympic athletes elected on to USOC’s Team for Tomorrow. I am an ambassador for this humanitarian relief fund and the Olympic ideals. This year the fund has sent aid in the form of clothes and sporting equipment to Afghanistan and Africa. I will do my part in my own community by helping out with a Habitat for Humanity project in the Adirondacks later in the spring or summer. The Team for Tomorrow is a humanitarian relief fund created just before the Bejing Olympics to help athletes further their own Olympic legacy by providing a way for us to give assistance to those in need and to give back to those communities that supported us along the way.

USOC press release

Before Christmas, Team for Tomorrow and USBA donated digital cameras and laptops to high school journalism classes in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on behalf of me being selected to this team. Our European Team Trials and the first phase of the Olympic Trials were held there in December and Minnesota’s biathlon clubs have been important places for biathlon development over the years. One of men’s Olympic team members, Wynn, is from one of these influential programs in Minnesota. I was racing in Slovenia at the time of the donation, but was glad the USBA was able to give something back to one of the communities that have been so important to US Biathlon.

I am still new to this Team, but am anticipating the Team will gather during the Olympics. Our work complements the way in which Vancouver has gone about preparing for the Games, so please check out the work they’ve done with sustainability and social inclusion at .

My Team for Tomorrow Statement

As member of Team for Tomorrow, I am honored to be an ambassador of the Olympic ideals and to represent US Biathlon.

Sport has enriched my life. Giving me opportunities to challenge my mind and body, teaching me values and ideals inherit to the Olympic spirit, and connecting me to life long mentors are among its many benefits; for me, it is a key. Through Team for Tomorrow, I am exciting about helping others find their own “keys” to success by overcoming financial, social, personal and even environmental challenges and enjoying life.

Fellow Team for Tomorrow athletes:

o Tony Benshoof, Luge

o John Benton, Curling

o Caitlin Cahow, Ice Hockey

o Rachael Flatt, Figure Skating

o Haley Johnson, Biathlon

o Augusto Perez, Paralympic Curling

o Noelle Pikus-Pace, Skeleton

o Katherine Reutter, Speedskating

o Liz Stephen, Cross Country Skiing

o Curt Tomasevicz, Bobsled

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Some of the many thousands of biathlon fans in Oberhof.

As for me, this week included a two week training block which is the foundation to my Olympic Games preparation. I've changed my technique dramatically, rebuilt my base, and today, took a much needed day of rest to let it all soak in.

After changing conditions throughout the first three World Cups, Oberhof's solid tracks were very nice to train and race on. It is like a winter wonderland up here, except when the fog, wind and snow rolls in, and it makes you yearn for places like Antholz and sun, and the wonder has frozen.

Oberhof is a hot spot for biathlon, and thousands of people flocked here this week to watch the races and relish in the success and defeat of biathlon. From a spectators view, watching the skill of the circuit's best aim for barely visible targets in howling wind definitely ups the excitement level as you keep your fingers crossed that your favorite biathlete will hit most of their targets.

One of my favorite things about Europe is Eurosport. And this was not a bad day to catch a few hours of it: Lindsey Vonn (alpine) won another World Cup, our Tim Burke was 2nd and regained the Yellow Leader's bib, hometown friend, Bill Demong won an extremely demanding World Cup with Steamboat's Todd Lodwick just behind, and I think I saw that Erin Hamlin (she also trains out of the LP Training Center) was 3rd in a luge World Cup. Not a bad weekend for the Americans!

Congrats to our Olympic Team!

Our 2010 US Olympic Biathlon Team has been named! I extend my congrats and respect to our team:

And, after an impressive Mass Start in the infamous Oberhof fog and wind, Tim was 2nd and reclaimed the Yellow Bid, and the number one spot! The latest press releases have been posted on

We will join in Ruhpolding tomorrow for the start of the 5th World Cup, which marks 5 weeks out from our first races of the Games. Ruhpolding, being a mecca for biathlon in Germany, is quite an exciting place to race, and it is going to be a lot of fun to finally race in a Relay on Friday. Thousands of fans will come out to watch and celebrate during this weeks races, which can only rival the 25,000 fans that showed for the Oberhof races this week. Watch our Olympic team, LIVE this week:

1.13 Wednesday - Women's SPRINT 11:20amEST
1.14 Thursday - Men's SPRINT 11:20amEST
1.15 Friday - Women's RELAY 11:20amEST - our first of the year, and our personal best is 10th
1.16 Saturday - Men's Mass Start 9:15amEST
1.7 Sunday - Men's Relay 9:15amEST - Last year our men's relay team was 5th at this WC!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Watch us live in OBERHOF!

We race in the afternoon again during this next block of World Cups, which means watching online is not a middle of the night affair - but rather something to watch during breakfast:)

Tim, Jay, Jeremy and I will be competing in the Sprint on Friday, and Tim will lead off in the Men's Mass Start (Top-30 and he's #1). Here are the EST race times:

1/8 8:30am 7.5km Sprint - Women

1/9 6:45am 10km Sprint - Men

1/10 5:00am 12.5km Mass Start - Women

1/10 7:20am 15km Mass - Start Men

Check out to watch LIVE and for follow-up press releases from the World Cup and from our US Olympic Team Trials held in Altenberg, Germany. After this week of racing, our full Olympic Team roster will re-join in Ruhpolding for the next series of World Cup races.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dear 4th Grade: Happy New Year!

So, you must all be back in school now? How was your holiday break? How are things in Lake Placid? All is quite well here. And I too had a great time with family during Christmas. But, I am back on the road again. For this week I am in Antholz in the South Tyrolian region of Italy. I am staying at the top of the valley right next to the nordic and biathlon center; I can walk out the door of my hotel right on to the ski trail! Again, I am staying on another lake - but this one a bit smaller and frozen, so I can ski on it.

A trail behind the hotel rises above the lake towards a pass which is on the border of Italy and Austria. A local's favorite is to hike up this trail, enjoy a hot drink and some cake at a small restaurant at the top, then rent a sled to take you all the way back down to the lake. Today, I just classic skied up to enjoy the view:

Looking back towards my "home" for the week - Hotel Seehaus:

This week I am back to a normal training schedule - a session in the morning, some good pasta for lunch, a nap and then another training session in the afternoon. It has been good to rebuild my strength and stamina after racing and traveling a lot this past month. The gains I make in these current weeks will help me race faster over the next month and are a part of the step process towards racing well in February.

After our full Olympic Team re-assembles at the Ruhpolding World Cup [see my schedule in the right hand column] we will be back here for the 6th World Cup. It will be exciting to have our whole team and staff together again, especially for the women since there has only been a few of us racing over here. And looking ahead towards Ruhpolding, we will enter our first women's relay before the Olympics. All the races are in the afternoon and evening that week, which makes it much more enjoyable to watch online back in the US without missing a good night of sleep.


Holidays - happy and spent in Colorado

I spent a week at home with family in Colorado. Dave and I spent Christmas in Steamboat with my sister Kara - now an avid skate skiing fan.

And, thanks to a great Christmas present, Dave and I made homemade pasta.

Relaxed and refreshed I returned back to Europe for a training camp with one of our head coaches in Antholz Rasen, Italy.