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Canadian Women’s Relay Struggles in Cold Conditions

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CANMORE, AB, February 8, 2019. Blustery conditions challenged the home team at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon women’s relay, where they were lapped so not able to finish the race. The Canuck’s started Sarah Beaudry, Emma Lunder, Megan Bankes, and Rosanna Crawford. “The first loop I was relaxed and gliding well at the front of the pack” says Beaudry, of Prince George, BC. “But it didn’t go well in the range at all”.

Every team battled cold temperatures and gusting wind, which made shooting difficult. Even the leaders were missing shots and playing cat and mouse for the lead, with Germany finally claiming the win. When the target is the size of a toonie, even a slight breeze can move an accurate shot outside the target. In a gusting wind, athletes have to use strategy but also have a little luck on their side.

The women’s relay sees each athlete racing 6 km and making two trips to the range before tagging their teammate. Athletes get an extra three spare rounds per trip to the range before they must do a penalty loop for a missed shot.

Germany found themselves on the top of the podium, with Norway in silver position and France claiming bronze in a close race to the finish with Italy.  Even sharp-shooter Laura Dahlmeier of the German team struggled with the wind and cold conditions, commenting “With one penalty loop in a relay I’m not happy, but we are the winners and that’s great”.

Sprint races have been cancelled for Saturday due to a very cold weather forecast. The races have been pushed to Sunday. Please follow updates on Sunday’s race schedule at biathlonworld.com and canmorebiathlon.ca

For more information contact media@canmorebiathlon.ca.

Green Celebrates Retirement on Home Turf

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CANMORE, Alberta, February 8th, 2019: How fitting that Brendan Green of Hay River, NWT retires amid a Polar Vortex. Today the 32 year old suited up for what was his final World Cup Biathlon race: the men’s relay, where they placed 10th. “I thought it would be special to bring my career full circle, back to where everything started and finish off with one last World Cup race in front of family and friends” Green says at the finish line. The men’s team and coaching staff joined him with champagne in the finish area to celebrate.

With the icy weather challenging the world’s best athletes, Green had one final advantage on his competitors. It may be called a Polar Vortex in Canmore, but in the north, it’s just another Friday. “I grew up in Hay River, Northwest Territories, so I’m used to the cold” he says. “There are so many people in the North that dedicated valuable time and resources to help me achieve my sporting dreams, and I’d like to thank those volunteers, family and friends.” Green also sends his gratitude to teammates, wax technicians, and his coach, Matthias Ahrens who he’s had nearly his entire career. “We’ve experienced a lot over the years- highs and lows, I feel like we’ve seen it all together”.

Green competed on the World Cup circuit for 11 years. In those years, he’s represented Canada at three Olympic Games, and won an historic World Championships bronze medal in the men’s relay with Scott and Christian Gow, and Nathan Smith. This being only the second World Cup ever held in Canmore, it’s not surprising Green chose to close his biathlon career with a relay in front of friends and family. “Today was special. I tried to have a great race but also let all the little moments sink in. It’s been a great career with lots of amazing years, experiences, and people, which is what I will remember.”

Known by his team for his quietly analytical character, his gentle nature, and ever-present sense of humour, Green presence will be missed. While Green will miss the athlete lifestyle, his career hasn’t been obstacle free. After a spinal disc injury before a World Cup race in Oslo where he raced with his injury to a top ten result, Green underwent two back surgeries. Suffering an additional traumatic shoulder injury this spring, Green felt that his home training ground of Canmore would be the perfect time to hang up his skis and rifle. 

As for plans after the race bib comes off, this won’t be the last we’ll see of Green in biathlon. “It’s going to be an exciting but also scary transition. I have a few ideas of what I would like to do, but pieces of the puzzle are still coming together. I know I would like to give back to biathlon and stay involved in some way.”

The World Cup finishes in Canmore on the weekend with a 10km sprint race for men, and 7.5km race for women. For more information visit canmorebiathlon.ca.

Canadian Men Celebrate Green’s Retirement with Top 10 Finish

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CANMORE, AB, February 8, 2019. The Canadian men kept brave spectators on the edge of their seats with a solid 10th place finish in extreme cold at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Relay. The team of Christian Gow, Scott Gow, Jules Burnotte and Brendan Green were in the fight for the podium halfway through the race. “I had a french athlete with me who is a really fast skier, so that was perfect way to start” says Christian Gow, who posted an impressive personal best 10th place in Thursday’s Shortened Individual race. 

Gow tagged his brother Scott, of Calgary who maintained 4th position for the team. “I felt better than yesterday, and had more energy”. Scott Gow says, adding that spending as little time in the wind as possible was key. Third relay leg Jules Burnotte of La Patrie, Quebec tagged anchor Brendan Green for the final race of Green’s career. 

Green celebrated with teammates and team staff who swarmed him with champagne at the finish line. “I thought it would be special to bring my career full circle, back to where everything started and finish off with one last World Cup race in front of family and friends”. 

The race was won by Norway who mentioned that the weather made it difficult to handle the extra bullets allotted in the relay. Second place went to France, with Russia claiming the bronze medal.

The women’s 4 x 6km relay begins at 2:45pm. Start times for the Saturday’s sprint races can be confirmed on biathlonworld.comand canmorebiathlon.ca.

For more information contact media@canmorebiathlon.ca.

Bankes and Crawford Post Top Thirty Results at Home World Cup

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CANMORE, AB, February 7, 2019. Megan Bankes of Calgary cruised to a personal best 26th in front of family and friends at the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Shortened Individual race. Bankes hit eighteen of twenty targets, and was thrilled to have a great race at home. “It was pretty slow snow out there, but I felt like I pushed pretty hard on my skis, so I’m really happy about it, especially the last loop everyone cheering my name.” Bankes said at the finish, and added gratefully “I’d like to thank all the volunteers who are out here standing in the cold. Everything has been run super smoothly”.

Rosanna Crawford of Canmore also squeaked into the top thirty with a 29th place in her hometown. “I told myself as long as I skied as hard as I could and did what I could on the range, I’d be happy no matter what. And I’m really happy hitting eighteen”. Pleased not only with a good race, but for the people who have supported her during her career, Crawford said “When I was about to start, and I heard everyone cheering for me, I got a few tears in my eyes. It was just so special to have them there” A Rosanna Fan Club was in attendance complete with signs and cowbells. 

Sarah Beaudry also posted a strong 34th place, joining Bankes and Crawford by only missing two targets. Bankes and Crawford will be joined by Emma Lunder and Sarah Beaudry in tomorrow’s relay race.

The race was won by Tiril Eckhoff of Norway who commented on her solid shooting, “I was more of a biathlete today, not a cross country skier who tried to shoot, so I’m very happy with my race”. Second place went to Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic, and third place was won by Lisa Vittozzi of Italy.

Today’s men’s and women’s races saw the International Biathlon Union implement a new rule for the first time, which allows race distances to be shortened due to extreme weather. The women raced 12.5 km instead of the usual 15 km, and the penalty for a missed shot was 45 seconds instead of one minute.

Four Canadians suited up in today’s race; Megan Bankes (+3:14.5, 26th), Rosanna Crawford (+3:21.7, 29th), Sarah Beaudry (+3:36.5, 34th), and Emma Lunder (+5:51.3, 63rd). Start times for Friday’s relays can be confirmed on biathlonworld.com and canmorebiathlon.ca.

For more information including confirmed race start times, please see canmorebiathlon.ca, or contact media@canmorebiathlon.ca.

07.02.2019, Canmore, Canada (CAN):
Rosanna Crawford (CAN) – IBU world cup biathlon, short individual women, Canmore (CAN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Manzoni/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Gow Throws Down Outstanding Tenth Place Result on Home Course 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Gow Throws Down Outstanding Tenth Place Result on Home Course

CANMORE, AB, February 7, 2019. Home course advantage payed off huge today for Christian Gow of Calgary, as he bagged a personal best tenth place result in the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon Shortened Individual race. Gow had only one miss in four trips to the range, and showed impressive ski speed over the 15km course. “Racing at home is awesome. I’ve got tons of people in the stands. They never get to see us race, right, and to have a good race, it’s even better” says Gow, who posted his season best performance in front of over 30 family and friends dressed in Canadian colors. “I think they are probably here to see Scott and I, though they are all VIP, so that helps entice people to get out and cheer.”

Christian’s older brother Scott also raced to a 40th place in today’s Individual. When asked how it felt to be the top Gow brother in today’s race, Christian replied “I think it will give me bragging rights for many years to come, or at least until tomorrow”. Scott Gow watched his younger brother leave the final shooting in the top ten, commenting “He really needs to ski faster”. Sibling rivalry will be put aside tomorrow as the brothers suit up for the men’s relay.

The race was won by the current leader of the World Cup standings, Norwegian athlete Johannes Thingnes Boe. Thrilled to be back in Canmore, where he raced as a junior, Boe was also challenged by the weather. “This World Cup has been quite different because of the cold. Today we used warm pads to keep hands warm, and of course a good warm up was important. It was not so bad today compared to earlier in the week. Today was more like a normal cold day in Norway”. Second place went to Vetle Christiansen of Norway, and third place was grabbed by Alexander Loginov of Russia. 

Today’s race saw the International Biathlon Union implement a new rule for the first time, which allows race distances to be shortened due to extreme weather. Both men and women’s races were shortened. The men raced15 km instead of the usual 20 km, and the penalty for a missed shot was 45 seconds instead of the usual one minute.

Four Canadians suited up in today’s race; Christian Gow (+3:05.4, 10th), Scott Gow (+4:42.6, 40th), Jules Burnotte (+7:00.2, 57th), hometown athlete Aidan Miller (+8:34.0, 81st). The Canadian men will race again on Friday in the relay. Start times have yet to be confirmed. The Women’s shortened Individual race starts today at 14:55 MST. 

For more information including confirmed race start times, please see canmorebiathlon.ca, or contact media@canmorebiathlon.ca.

07.02.2019, Canmore, Canada (CAN):
Christian Gow (CAN) – IBU world cup biathlon, short individual men, Canmore (CAN) ©Manzoni/NordicFocus

Team Canada Named for World Cup at Home

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Canada’s sharpshooting biathletes are ready to kick off the BMW IBU World Cup in Canmore next week. The Canadian squad will welcome the top biathletes on the planet for World Cup #7 at the Canmore Nordic Centre, February 4-10.

The following athletes will represent Canada on home turf:

Men:

Christian Gow (Calgary, AB)
Scott Gow (Calgary, AB)
Jules Burnotte (Sherbrooke, QC)
Aidan Millar (Canmore, AB)
Brendan Green (Hay River, NT)

Women:

Rosanna Crawford (Canmore, AB)
Sarah Beaudry (Prince George, BC)
Emma Lunder (Vernon, BC)
Megan Bankes (Calgary, AB)

Coaches: Matthias Ahrens and Pavel Lantsov
Techs: Andrew Chisholm, Raphael Grosset, and Martin Struna.
Massage Therapist: Yvonne Visser

Excited about returning to Canmore

Rosanna Crawford is excited about returning to Canmore to compete in front of family and friends, “After two months on the road, 16 races in five countries, I am back in Canmore getting ready for World Cup #7 in my hometown! You’re not going to want to miss this exciting event”

This is the only event of its kind in Canada and is broadcast globally to about 50 million viewers. The event starts with the Individual on Thursday followed by the Relay on Saturday and Mass Start on Sunday.

The men’s team includes five athletes, but Canada has only four starting positions on Thursday and Saturday. The Gow brothers and Burnotte will take part in all competitions, while Canmore native, Aidan Millar will race the Individual and Brendan Green the relay. The overall ranking will dictate who races on Sunday in the Mass Start.

Photo: Nordic Focus

Participating Nations

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Canmore welcomes the world! Here is the list of participating nations for the World Cup Biathlon in Canmore. This is an all-time high registration for our venue.

  1. Austria
  2. Belarus
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Canada
  5. People Republic of China
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Estonia
  8. Finland
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Italy
  12. Japan
  13. Kazakhstan
  14. Korea
  15. Latvia
  16. Lithuania
  17. Norway
  18. Poland
  19. Romania
  20. Russia
  21. Slovenia
  22. Switzerland
  23. Slovakia
  24. Sweden
  25. Ukraine
  26. United States

In addition to this list, we expect Wildcard nations, which will be confirmed on January 21st.

 

Happy International Volunteer Day, December 5th

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A sea of blue and purple may not be what comes to mind when you think of what makes the Canmore Nordic Centre world class. Humble beneath the alpine backdrop, the blue jacket and purple toque clad volunteers are the puppeteers behind snowy events in Canmore.

International Volunteer Day, which recognizes the invaluable role that volunteers play in building resilient communities, lands on December 5th; fitting for the volunteer biathlon community as it is also the opening week of the 2018/19 World Cup Biathlon season.

Every year Canmore biathlon volunteers dedicate long, cold hours to make sure athletes competing in the Bow Valley have the best chance for success. This year, however, requires an even larger and more committed fleet in order to host the Biathlon World in February. Ken Davies, Chair of the Organizing Committee says “As an event host, our volunteer base in Canmore is our greatest asset. Events would simply fall flat without the committed folks who give their time. They are truly what make our town and our events world class.”

By the numbers, so far there are over 250 volunteers dedicated to running a fantastic Biathlon World Cup. They are comprised of 64% female, mostly between the age of 45-60, and the majority have some experience with biathlon, either through involved family or friends. However, it’s always great to see there are growing numbers of young volunteers, who will no doubt be shown what the blue jacket and purple toques truly mean, and continue the important legacy of volunteerism in Canmore.

Apply for Experience Camp

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During the World Cup in Canmore, Biathlon Canada will host an Experience Camp. This is an unique opportunity for athletes born between 1997-2004 to take part in high quality training sessions, get insider’s perspective from a World Cup venue and discuss biathlon with the Olympic athletes as they arrive Canmore to compete on home turf.

The camp takes place February 5-11, 2019. It will be led by Roddy Ward, Director of Long Term Athlete Development and 2018 Olympic Coach and Jacqueline Akerman, Athlete and Coach Development Manager, as well as other high performance coaches.

Athletes will take part in training sessions on the World Cup course and in other locations around the Bow Valley. Athletes will gain exposure to World Cup racing, participate in a TV test race, fore-run for the World Cup, volunteer for the World Cup, meet and chat with members of Canada’s World Cup Team, and learn from specialists (Nutrition, Sport Psych, Physiology, and Strength) who work with our Senior National Team athletes.

Read more about eligibility, registration, schedule etc. here

Team Announcement

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TOUR 1 WORLD CUP AND IBU CUP TEAMS ANNOUNCED

Biathlon Canada is proud to announce the teams that will compete at the World Cup and IBU Cup on the first tour of the 2018-2019 season. The team is made up of a good mix of both veteran experience and athletes competing on the senior international circuit for the first time.

Athletes on World Cup Tour 1 will leave Canada early next week for training camp in Austria and will then travel to Slovenia, back to Austria, and to the Czech Republic for competitions before taking a break for the holidays.

-“I’m excited for the race season to start! It’ll be different not starting the race season in Scandinavia”, commented veteran Rosanna Crawford, who had a career-highlight season in 2017-2018 with a bronze medal in the 15km individual in Ruhpolding, Germany.

Adam Runnalls, 20, who will be competing at the IBU Cup for the first time, is looking forward to racing at a higher level. “I have been working to race on the international circuit since I was 16. This will be a great learning opportunity for me,” said Runnalls, “it is surreal to be teammates with guys who I have looked up to for years.”

The IBU Cup Tour 1 team will leave Canada at the beginning of December to participate in a training camp and the Alpine Cup in Austria. They then travel to Italy and finish the tour in Austria at the end of December.

Stay tuned for the Junior IBU Cup Tour 1 team announcement later in the week.

World Cup Tour 1 Team:

  • Christian Gow; Calgary, AB
  • Scott Gow; Calgary, AB
  • Brendan Green; Hay River, NT
  • Nathan Smith; Calgary, AB
  • Megan Bankes; Calgary, AB
  • Rosanna Crawford; Canmore, AB
  • Nadia Moser; Whitehorse, YT
  • Megan Tandy; Prince George, BC

Coaches: Matthias Ahrens and Pavel Lantsov.
Techs: Raphael Grosset, Andrzej Lesnick, and Martin Struna for all of World Cup Tour 1 competitions. Andrew Chisholm will be with the World Cup Team for the first competition of the season.

IBU Cup Tour 1 Team:

  • Jules Burnotte; Sherbrooke, QC
  • Carsen Campbell; Bedeque, PEI
  • Aidan Millar; Canmore, AB
  • Adam Runnalls; Calgary, AB
  • Sarah Beaudry; Prince George, BC
  • Emily Dickson; Burns Lake, BC
  • Emma Lunder; Vernon, BC
  • Darya Sepandj; Calgary, AB

Coach: Jeff Lodge.
Techs: Andrew Chisholm, and Erik Gosselin.