Anchorage biathlon athletes take advantage of training day
Monday was supposed to be the first day of competition for Arctic Winter Games athletes. But for many, it ended up being a training day since the weekend’s storm delayed their arrival into Nuuk, Greenland.
Biathlon athletes were eager to unpack their skis and snowshoes and hit the course.
“Today’s the day for us to shake out our legs and make sure we’re ready for the races,” said Anchorage competitor Peter Stiassny.
Snowshoe coach Simon Gilliland agreed the training day was vital for the competition.
“It’s a new course, new range. The wind patterns are different here and the athletes are really jittery,” he said.
Team Alaska has eight kids competing in the snowshoe biathlon and eight in the skiing biathlon. Stiassny said he’s excited to take on athletes from the Arctic.
“Winning is fun, but that’s not everything. I love the town, I love being here,” he said.
There’s something on the course the Alaska kids haven’t seen much of this year — snow.
“For some of these kids, it’s the first time they’ve gotten to ski on natural snow this year,” said Gilliland. “In Anchorage, where most of our athletes are from, we’ve had man-made snow and they’ve tried to make it last.”
Using the training day on Monday takes out any weather buffer the team had during the rest of the week. Now they need to be ready for four solid days of competition and keep their fingers crossed the weather holds out.
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