I just finished competing in my first-ever world champs in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Susan wrote a great blog with a lot of good pictures, but I figured I should add a few more of my own! I really wish that there were a better way to capture or describe the feeling of being in a stadium filled with 20,000 screaming fans, bright blinding lights, and huge jumbo-tron TV screens, as you try to get in your zone and do your final warming up before a race. Its exhilarating!! I tried taking a few videos from the start pen to give you all a sense of what its like. Here’s a link to the best one, which is of the start of the men’s relay.
Here I am with the mascot monster of Nove Mesto at the opening ceremonies for the biathlon World Champs. I got to shoot at a fake laser target when our team got introduced and walked through the stadium.
Here I am with a German biathlon fan, who apparently comes to almost all of the world cups. There are many die-hard fans like this in crazy outfits, though “santa-claus” definitely stands out as one of the real characters.
My sister took this screen shot from the live online footage of the sprint race. I cleaned my prone shooting, so I came in to standing in a pretty good position. But then I missed 3 standing shots, which was too many misses! I was 71st and didn’t qualify for the pursuit.
In the 15k individual, I had my best world-cup race yet with a 56th-place finish. Though I was pretty happy with my results and also happy just to be there, racing in World Champs has just made me hungrier to race even more and get better. It was also incredible to be there when Tim won a silver medal in the individual. The team has such a hardworking and great group of coaches and wax techs, and to see how happy and proud they all were and to be a part of the celebrating was an awesome experience that really made me want to be a part of more future success.
One day Sara and I ran up to this really cool old church that was up on a hill in Zdar nad Sazavou, the town where we were staying. It was built in the 7th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The detailing on it was beautiful!
There was another type of beautiful art to be found along the path that I went for a short run on most mornings–beautiful graffiti all over many of the old concrete buildings and storage containers. It made me want to try graffiti art, and added color to an otherwise very gray city-scape.
Now the team is resting and training in Inzell, Germany for a week before we head to Oslo for another weekend of world cup races. I’m excited to get another chance to try to put all the pieces together and have a good biathlon race!