US Biathlon Athletes Kick Off 2009-2010 World Cup Season in Östersund, Sweden on December 2nd
Östersund, Sweden - World Cup racing begins tomorrow in Östersund, Sweden as the US Biathlon team looks to follow-up last year’s strong season with their sights set on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The World Cup team includes 2006 Olympian Lanny Barnes (Durango, Co), Haley Johnson (Lake Placid, NY), Sara Studebaker (Boise, ID), 2006 Olympian Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), 2006 Olympian Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY), three-time Olympian Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska), Kevin Patzoldt (Grand Rapids, MN), and two-time Olympian Jeremy Teela (Heber City, UT).
The women kick off the competition with the 15 k Individual race on December 2, at 11:10 am, (EST) while the men’s 20 k Individual race begins December 3, at 11:10 am (EST). Watch all the World Cup racing live online by visiting http://tiny.cc/FL0l9
World Cup Race Schedule (all times EST)
Wed. 12/2 11:10 am Individual Women
Thurs. 12/3 11:10 am Individual Men
Sat. 12/5 5:30 am Sprint Women
8:30 am Sprint Men
Sun. 12/6 5:00 am Relay Men
8:00 am Relay Women
USBA High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler expects a lot from the team this season, and knows that the athletes have worked hard during the last few months of training to make their Olympic dream come true.
“We had amazing training camps with almost no health problems among the team members so we could really do all the quality work we wanted to do. With that last year behind us the goal is clear: We do not want to repeat that year. We want to take a step forward,” said Eisenbichler.
The bar was raised significantly last year. With Jeremy Teela’s third place in the Vancouver World Cup and Tim Burke’s top ten spots during the season the men will have to ski fast and shoot well to repeat those results. The women’s team, with a Top 10 result during the World Championships in Korea, also showed that they are getting closer to the dominating nations in biathlon.
“The level in our team was high last year already. But we want to raise that and even stabilize it. We need that constancy in skiing and shooting to be at the top places even more. I think be made a big step forward on the shooting range thanks to the engagement of the former Italian coach Armin Auchentaller. We saw the results at the Summer World Championships in Germany, and I am sure that we will be able to repeat them,” added Eisenbichler.