Wild Rumpus Sports

Olympian Lowell Bailey Joins Bridger Biathlon Club Board

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

(Press release)

BOZEMAN, Mont. (June 29, 2016) – The Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC) announced today the appointment of three-time Olympian, Lowell Bailey, to its Board of Directors. BBC, a local nonprofit community organization operating at the Bohart Ranch Cross-Country Ski Center in Bridger Canyon, was established in 2014 with a focus on promoting athletic achievement and healthy living through the sport of biathlon.

Bailey, a current member of the United States Biathlon Team, brings unprecedented resources and knowledge that will elevate the Board in their understanding of biathlon, the development of robust youth programs, current best practices for trail design, and opportunities to bridge local skiing to the national and international level.

Having competed on the World Cup Circuit for over a decade and internationally since 1999, Bailey has competed in the last three Olympic Games and skied and shot his way to six top-ten finishes at World Championships, securing a personal best World Cup silver medal in 2014. This past season Bailey was ranked 17th in overall World Cup standings, and ranked as the number one prone shooter in the world. Lowell is currently training for the 2016-17 World Cup season with his sights on the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyong-Chang, South Korea. His eighth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics represents the highest Olympic result ever achieved by an American biathlete. Lowell hopes to improve on this by leading the U.S. Biathlon Team to its first-ever Olympic medal in 2018.

US Biathlon's Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

US Biathlon’s Lowell Bailey competing in Antholz, Italy. (Photo: Bridger Biathlon Club)

Biathlon, a sport wildly popular in Europe that has been gaining momentum in the U.S. in recent years, combines rifle marksmanship with cross-country skiing. This board appointment comes at a time when the Portland, Maine-based U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA) is ramping up its development programs and is increasingly focusing resources on youth biathlon elsewhere in the country. Bailey, also a USBA board member and an Athlete Representative for the International Biathlon Union (IBU), is in the position to represent and advocate for the sport of biathlon at a local, regional, and international level.

There is a deep history of biathlon in Bozeman, home to many former internationally ranked biathletes including Stuart Jennings, Kari Swenson and Brian Wadsworth, who all now serve on BBC’s Board along with Carol Smith as Board Chair. Bailey, who grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, cares deeply about promoting healthy, active outdoor lifestyles and understands the positive impact that outdoor sports and recreation can have on the lives of youth and parents alike. The pursuit of outdoor sport from a young age instills a set of lifelong skills and values – from energetic novices to Olympic hopefuls. Bailey is excited to help grow BBC as a community resource for all ages and abilities.

BBC will be working with Bohart Ranch and neighboring Crosscut Ranch landowners to carry forward the legacy of this incredible recreational resource. The club has already installed a state-of-the-art biathlon range and expanded trail system that supports the club’s growing roster of kids, ages 9-16, and with Bailey’s guidance will continue making advances towards becoming a world-class recreational venue for the local community.

BBC provides year-round training opportunities for youth athletes seeking to engage in human-powered outdoor sports including Nordic skiing and biathlon. BBC seeks to promote and inspire physical fitness, athletic excellence and personal growth. For more information on BBC and its programs, visit BBC’s Facebook page or website.