Wild Rumpus Sports

Utah Biathlon, Soldier Hollow videos



At Soldier Hollow, on Saturday January 10th, the Utah Biathlon Club hosted a simultaneous men’s 10km sprint and a women’s 7.5km sprint followed by a novice biathlon race. The Novice racers did not carry rifles and shot both bouts prone. An hour of training was required and provided at noon on the day of the race. Then the novice skiers watched the open class race, only raising the excitement level at the stadium.

Answers for why are you trying this ran from, I wanted to see what a biathlon skier goes through, to, I attended a training session years ago and finally matched up with a race date. Robert Lazzaroni added the other Nordic skiing competition (biathlon) to his Nordic Combined and Cross Country racing.

First off the starting post was Patrick Johnson, coach Matt’s brother. Any competitors paying attention must have raised their sinking heart-rate while watching Patrick rise out of the stadium. You might recall that at US Senior Nationals last year, Patrick took-off, blowing the overly content field of skiers a big kiss as he left them behind. (Okay – not literally for the kiss). Patrick recently added biathlon to his repertoire is now coaching for Auburn Ski club out of Truckee with favorite and former TUNA skier Gus Johnson.

Patrick exhibited an economy of motioned unmatched by any other competitor. Like a magician, his sleight of hand opened and closed the cover on the tip of the barrel while taking off or slinging his rifle to his shoulders. No extra motion was needed. While shooting, he worked through several targets without pausing. Then, while leaving the shooting station and skiing back to the track, he tucked each pole under each arm and simultaneously slipped each hand into each pole strap at the same time. Then he was gone and rising out of the stadium again leaving everyone else gracelessly fumbling through the same motions.

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