Five men and five women were nominated to represent Canada in biathlon at next month’s Olympic Winter Games.
The newly nominated athletes stand to challenge the 24-year Canadian Olympic biathlon medal drought at PyeongChang 2018.
Two-time Olympian Rosanna Crawford won her first individual World Cup biathlon medal at the most recent stop in Ruhpolding, Germany, shooting a perfect 20-for-20 on her way to the bronze. She’s only the third Canadian woman to win a World Cup biathlon medal. Just a few days later, she missed another podium by half a second.
“I’m extremely proud to be able to represent Canada at my third Olympics!” said Crawford. “ The team has had a great season so far and I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Olympics!”
The men’s team is also led by a returnee from Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, Brendan Green. After coming back from two spinal surgeries to place a Canadian best-ever ninth in the 15km mass start in Sochi, he helped make Canadian biathlon history in 2016 by anchoring the 4×7.5km relay team to bronze for Canada’s first ever relay medal at the world championships.
In 2015, Smith was the first Canadian man to medal at the world championships with a silver in the 10km sprint and the second to stand on a World Cup podium when he won gold in a 12.5km pursuit. His Canadian record-breaking results had to be put on hold after missing most of the 2016-17 season with a virus causing fatigue. Smith was strong enough by March to compete at the Olympic test event.
Both of the Gow brothers have had tremendous starts to their 2017-18 World Cup seasons, posting career-best results in their individual races.
Macx Davies, who has a career-best World Cup result of 10th place from the 2015-16 season, completes the men’s team.
The women’s team will have another returnee from Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, Megan Tandy. At her first Games, she was the first Canadian woman to compete in the Olympic pursuit event. Her highlight at Sochi 2014 was being part of Canada’s best-ever eighth-place finish in the women’s relay, alongside Crawford.
Some promising rookies will round out the women’s squad. Before joining the national team, Julia Ransom competed in multiple Youth World Championships, highlighted by a silver medal in the pursuit in 2012. Already this season, she has achieved personal bests with ninth-place finishes in the 15km individual and 7.5km sprint events on the World Cup circuit.
Emma Lunder comes to the squad with multiple years of experience from the Youth World Championships. She rebounded from a couple seasons in which repeat injuries led to self-described lacklustre racing to post her best-ever result and break into the top 20 at a World Cup event in December 2017. Sarah Beaudry was the first Canadian woman to win a world junior biathlon medal in 2014 when she took bronze in the pursuit. She made her world championship debut in 2016.
Before heading to PyeongChang, the biathletes will hunker down at home for a training camp in Canmore, Alberta until February 2.