Six long vigorous days and over 47.5 kilometers traveled. Who, what and where you may ask? York’s very own, Cam Christiansen, has been chosen to compete with the US Biathlon Youth and Junior Championship Team in Otepaa, Estonia. Cam will compete in this physically challenging and demanding sport, known as a biathlon.
What is a biathlon? I will tell you this much, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and stamina. A biathlon is a vigorous and intense sport of cross-country skiing with exact rifle marksmanship. These opposing disciplines collide at the shooting range. Just when the athletes think they have a minute to stop and catch their breath, they pick up their rifle and have seconds to shoot a target, knowing this will make or break their “shot” on the leader board. A missed target means another grueling 150 meters of cross country skiing!
Five…. FIVE…Biathletes from MN were named by US Biathlon to the US Youth and Junior Team Championships to be held February 26th – March 4th in Otepaa, Estonia. To get here, Cam competed among 50 plus athletes, with only four… FOUR men and women being selected for each age group Youth and Jr., 16 athletes total.
Another question we ALL may have: How does one become interested and involved in this unfamiliar US sport?
“I really owe my start in the sport to 2 people. First being my Dad who picked up Nordic skiing after he left the army. He started to get back into it as I got older and he had really peaked my interest in XC skiing. I wanted to learn to ski so he went to the local ski trails and asked around about any programs I could join. He was given the number of a Biathlon coach who was willing to take on new athletes. He came back to me and asked if I was interested. I had never heard of biathlon before butgrowing up as an avid hunter and as someone who loved shooting, I could not think of a better sport. I was getting involved in a sport that I could ski and shoot! What could be better?? I called the Coach (who is my coach to this day) Bill Meyer. He had me come over to practice the next day. He handed me a pair of skis and a rifle and got me skiing and shooting on day one. I had no idea that day that the sport of biathlon would open so many new doors, great friendships, and experiences that I will carry with me the rest of my life. “
Some may call it an American Dream, for Cam Christiansen, it’s a reality. Beginning February 26th Otepaa, the winter capital of Estonia, will host the IBU Youth and Junior World Championships. There Cam will put all his training, dedication and skills to use. Your York family will be cheering you on and wish you nothing but luck, health and strength!