HistoryNWT Biathlon has been an active division since 1978 and has competed in the Arctic Winter Games, Canada Winter Games, National Championships, Polar Cup Circuit, Western Canadian Championships, Alberta Cup Circuit and local races in Yellowknife, Hay River and Ft. Smith. Cadet Corps in the NWT also offer biathlon and the N.W.T Biathlon Association and members of the Cadet Corps have participated in the Cadet National Championships. NWT Biathlon members have also competed at European Cups, World University Games and World Championships.
In the 2006-07 season the membership included:166 athletes, 14 coaches, 24 officials, 70 supporters Challenges of Biathlon in NWTØ Small population and large geographic area.Ø Lack of leadership in remote areas to offer programsØ Lack of equipment – skis and rifles to be used in programmingØ Weather creates challenges with outdoor programming and schedulingØ Exorbitant travel costsØ Lack of accessible high level competitionThe word biathlon comes from the Greek word bi meaning two and athlon meaning contest. In theory biathlon can mean the combination of two sports. Traditionally the name comes from shooting and cross-country skiing. Biathlon has expanded to cover other dual contest of marksmanship and physical endurance.
Drawings that are over 4000 years old demonstrate men hunting on skis. As more and more of these hunters grouped together then contests began to test to see who was the best.
1767 was the first recorded biathlon competition in Sweden by soldiers who guarded the Swedish-Norwegian border. The first recorded ski club in 1861 in Norway promoted skiing and shooting for soldiers for national defense.
The first competition rules were developed in 1955. The first rules were written in German and then in French. In 1988 the English version became the official rules for Biathlon.
Shooting RangesThe present day range is 50 meters in length. The shooting range has gone through major changes over the last 40 years. The traditional course consisted of 4 ranges that the biathletes would ski to. The distance varied from 150m 200m and 250m for prone shooting and 100 m for the standing. The rifle used was a high power 8 mm in caliber.
In 1963 the Germans suggested 1 stadium with all 4 ranges. This was to accommodate the spectators With the introduction of the 22 cal rifle competition rile in 1978 the range requirements changed to today’s 50 meter range.
Snowshoe BiathlonSnowshoe Biathlon is very similar to Ski Biathlon, besides the obvious difference that the athlete is using snowshoes instead of skis. The races are the same except that the distances are shorter and the penalty lap is shorter. Snowshoe is very much a northern aboriginal sport. What is more natural than a trapper coming out of his tent, putting on his snowshoes, grabbing his gun and then looking for game to shoot at. Snowshoe biathlon became part of the Arctic Winter Games in 1978. Because of the traditions of hunting and trapping as a valued part of northern lifestyles it is hoped that snowshoe biathlon will remain popular among northern people.
CompetitionsIndividual Race:This race is a long distance race where the bi athlete will ski approx. 1/5 of the distance and shoot 5 shells at five metal targets. The athlete then Skis another set distance and shoot again. This is repeated 3 -4 times depending on the age group. For every target missed there is a 1 minute penalty added to the total time. Because the athlete is shooting 15-20 times, the Individual race is know as the shooter’s race.
Sprint Race: This race is a shorter distance and the racers only shoot twice. When they have completed 5 shots they have to ski around a 150 m loop once for every miss. Because there is only 10 shots fired this race is known as the skiers race.
Relay: The relay is made up 3 or 4 competitors who will ski the same distance as they did in the relay but they are given an extra 3 bullets so they have a total 8 chances at 5 targets. When one competitor has completed the total distance, then the next member of the team will start. Similar to the Sprint race all missed shoots are penalized with a one lap of the penalty loop for every miss.
Mass Start: The mass start is shorter than the individual and longer than the sprint. The athletes shoot 4 times. The individuals in a class will start at the same time. So the athlete in front is the athlete that is winning. For every miss athletes mnust do a penalty lap.
Pursuit: The pursuit race is set up to start of the results of a previous race. The winner of the previous race would start 1st and 2nd competitor would leave at time that was equal to the difference between 1st and 2nd in the previous race and this would continue for all the competitors. The competitors shoot 4 times and for every miss they do a penalty lap.
RulesBiathlonThere are rules for everything imaginable from sponsorship and drugs to course elevation. This section outlines the main rules needed to get someone started; more details can be found in the IBU Rule Book.
Targets: Each lane consists of five individual targets located at 50m to the left of the competitor when they enter the range. The five targets are arranged in a row in a metal box. The metal targets knock down if there is sufficient force. If sufficient force is applied a white paddle covers the single black target. This mechanism allows the competitor to easily count the number of laps he or she needs to complete; all five targets can easily be reset with the pull of a string by a range official. The standing target is 115mm in diameter, and in prone it is adjusted to 45mm. Penalties: The penalty loop is an extra 150m skied after each time in the range. The loop must be skied once for every target missed; the onus is on the competitor to keep track of how many loops he or she has skied. Although there isn't a penalty for skiing too many loops however, there is two minute penalty for each loop missed. The penalty lap is located at the exit end of the range. An international level biathlete can complete a lap in 30-45sec. The time penalty consists of an additional minute added to the racer's time for each target missed and is only associated with the individual event.
Equipment: There are equipment checks at almost every race. This is done to ensure that all competitors are competing on a level field. Your rifle, skis and poles are marked with a unique sticker, usually your bib number when they clear the equipment check.After you finish your race you are required to reenter the checking area to clear your equipment. An athlete must enter the checking area no later than 15 minutes prior to their start.
Rifle: The rifle is .22 caliber and can be made by any company, most commonly Anschutz, Vostok, or Lakefield. The Canadian Lakefield is an inexpensive rifle for beginners. Two restrictions regarding the rife are the trigger weight and the weight of the rifle itself. The trigger weight is the amount of pressure applied to the trigger to fire the firing pin, a minimum of 500 gm. A rifle cannot be lighter than 3.5 kg. The serial number of your rifle is recorded to ensure you have used the same one throughout the race. Skis: Ski length is athlete's height minus 4cm.
Our Mission is to: Vision:
To bring communities together through sportTo support the talented athletes in their high performance endeavors To reach out to the remote communities where outdoor activities are a part of daily lifeTo promote health and wellness through participation in cross country skiing and marksmanship To reconnect youth to the land through cross country skiing, snowshoeing and rifle marksmanship To educate youth in the safe rifle handling and marksmanship skills that are needed to survive in a traditional Northern lifestyle. Goals:
To increase the number of participants across the NorthTo provide support to the elite athletesTo recruit sponsorship and support for the Association Why Biathlon is suited to the NWT:
Skiing, snowshoeing, running promote a healthy lifestyle Rifle marksmanship is a necessary skill for hunting Snow is available for 6 months of the year Education and respect of proper rifle safety and rifle handling is needed for today’s youth who are exposed negative influences of the video game cultureTalented athletes have been developed from the NWT despite the barriers that are in place
Summary of International Biathlon Results: 2011-2012 Season
Prepared by NWT Biathlon April 20, 2012
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times” …. “right out of Dickens” was how a prominent Canadian sports writer summarized Brendan’s remarkable 2011-2012 biathlon season. It was a roller coaster ride, with extraordinary highs and agonizing lows.
The highlights provided much to celebrate as Brendan advanced to establish himself as one of the nation’s brightest biathlon prospects ever. Since December he has competed in 17 World Cup races in 5 countries. His most significant achievement came in claiming two top 10 finishes in the individual events. These results came in his final set of races in Holmenkollen, Norway. In the 10 km Sprint, perfect shooting combined with a strong skiing effort enabled him to overtake a number of former Olympic medalists to capture his career best 9th placing. He followed that up with a 13th place in the Pursuit Race, and a 10th place in the Mass Start.
Brendan’s consistency in shooting was a key factor in his success this season. He shot clean in 6 World Cup races this season and was the top marksman for the Canadian team. With an 87.3% average in the range, he is among the top shooters on the World Cup circuit – currently ranking 8th and up from 39th last season. Brendan has also been able to match the top biathletes in the world on his skis: in his best race ever, he clocked the 2nd fastest skiing time. Now, in most races he can also match the best in shooting. To win at the World Cup level, the biathlete must ski fast and shoot nearly perfectly. Being able to raise his shooting performance to the level of his skiing was a huge breakthrough for Brendan this season.
Brendan was also a strong and consistent performer in the team relays. This season, he competed in three relay events in which the team achieved two of their best ever World Cup results. For the first time in the history of Canadian Biathlon, the team made it into the “Flower Ceremony” (which honours the top six teams) when the Mixed Relay Team finished in 6th place. He also helped the Men’s Relay Team to a 7th place finish to match their best ever result.
Biathlon Canada selected Brendan Green for their prestigious Male Athlete of the Year Award for 2012. In their news release, Biathlon Canada concludes: “With every season, Brendan has been dramatically closing the gap with the best in the world. This is no small achievement. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Brendan is a rising star in the world of Canadian and International biathlon.”
Unfortunately, Brendan’s season was marred by a back injury suffered during summer training. It flared up again after the first set of World Cup competitions, and finally forced him to withdraw from competition altogether just prior to the World Championships. He has been undergoing treatments in Canmore since the end of February, and underwent back surgery at the end of April, but hopes to resume training soon. Providing he recovers fully from this injury, he will be a strong contender for the podium in the future.
March 30 to April 1 Fort Smith hosted the third ‘Fast and Female’ event to be held in the NWT. Thirty five girls participated from Fort McPherson, Deline, Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Trout Lake, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.
by Patti-Kaye Hamilton
The ice breaker was a night time sliding party. There was lots of shrieking on the wild ride down the bank of the Slave River and lots of panting on the long climb to the top. By the end of the evening girls who began as strangers were sitting around the bonfire laughing and talking like old friends as northern lights danced above them.
In the midst of a Saturday morning snowstorm the girls were divided into groups based on skiing ability. They were assigned one of four impressive instructors including four time Olympian Sharon Firth, Sarah Daitch a former national team member, biathlete Betsy Mawdsley just back from the Canadian Championships and veteran coach and event organizer Juneva Green. At times it was hard to tell who was having more fun, the instructors or the young ladies.
Over lunch Sharon Firth spoke to the girls about her journey from the trapline to the Olympics. It’s rare to have quiet in a room full of 35 little girls but there was a hush as Firth shared the compelling story of her life. One of the girls from Deline said it meant a lot because Sharon had come from a small town just like her hometown and even though she didn’t have a lot of money she didn’t give up on her dream to get to the Olympics. “I think if she did it I can do it too,” said the tiny 11 year old.
During the afternoon the girls rotated to biathlon, dog mushing, snowshoeing and skiing with the Champions. Dog musher, Rita Antoniak had worked hard to develop a program that gave each girl a chance to experience driving the dog team. Antoniak said the effort was all worthwhile when she heard all the laughing and giggling from the sleigh. Her message to the girls was simple,”You can do this.”she told them.
Evening action included kayaking, kickboxing, belly dancing, zumba and modern jewellery making. Most of the girls had never been in a kayak and Saskia van Mourik a former Junior National White Water Champion who competed internationally was impressed with the girls natural ability in the tippy boats. Fort McPherson chaperone and mom Lynn Hanthorn admired their courage to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. She said none of her five girls had ever rolled a kayak or kick boxed but they were willing to try and she saw their confidence grow over the weekend.
Sunday the girls and their guides had a long, leisurely ski on the historic and beautiful Thebacha Loppet trail along the Slave River. Their Fast and Female experience in Fort Smith ended with a hot dog roast around a campfire and a spontaneous snowball fight.
Marie LaForme the teacher/chaperone from Colville Lake says Fast and Female has become an incentive that helps her keep the girls active. They know if they show up to ski after school they’ll be able to travel to the next Fast and Female. LaForme says, “There are many opportunities for boys to travel to hockey tournaments or hand games competitions but Fast and Female is one of the few events that inspires the girls.”
Laura Aubrey, one of the Fort Smith chaperones and organizers says, “My daughter Amelie came away from the weekend feeling self-confident, empowered to reach her goals, and had a deeper connection to other young females her age living in smaller communities North of 60. A big impact was having role models there all weekend. This reinforced the belief that healthy lifestyle choices, strong communities, and dreams are what will keep you going in life. She truly believes that dreams can become reality. You just have to believe in yourself and then make it happen.”
Fast and Female is an initiative developed by Olympic gold medalist Chandra Crawford to empower girls through sport.
To check out the pictures from Fort Smith and also here
Article from Slave River Journal - Hay River biathlon hosts GG for AWG tryoutsDecember 13th, 2011 | posted by Doug By PATTI-KAY HAMILTONTue, Dec 13, 2011
Organizing an Arctic Winter Games Territorial Trials is a lot of work for volunteers and coaches. On the weekend Hay River Nordic not only coordinated the snowshoe and ski biathlon races, but they hosted the Governor General and a community feast at the same time. A seat of honour was built for the VIPs with buffalo hides at the top of a set of bleachers overlooking the shooting range. Both Governor General Johnston and his wife commented on the stalwart northern teens who didn't seem to mind racing in winter conditions in a tough sport and who appeared to float across the trail on their snowshoes.
As the dignitaries looked on from their perch, 40 athletes and coaches from every region in the NWT snowshoed, skiied and shot in an effort to qualify for the Arctic Winter Games scheduled for Whitehorse in March. The competition opened with two local young ladies singing the national anthem in their Aboriginal languages as the athletes stood at attention on their skis and snowshoes. After the races the athletes got a special honour. Hay River residents crowded into the large log building to watch as the Governor General presented their medals.
Many people at the event praised NWT Biathlon president Pat Bobinski for his efforts over the last few years to reach out to small communities who would not otherwise have a chance to participate in biathlon. Since 2010 he has travelled to many of the villages in the Sahtu and Beaufort Delta teaching young students the skills required for the sport. As a result the majority of snowshoe biathletes who tried out for the games came from Fort McPherson, Deline and Aklavik. In recent years the AWGs have been criticized for not attracting athletes from locations outside of Yellowknife. For example most of the youth trying out for cross country skiing and all three coaches this year are from Yellowknife. Biathlon is one of the few individual sports which has been successful at recruiting athletes and coaches from outside of the major centres.
For the first time in 25 years there were no Fort Smith biathletes competing at the trials. According to coach Don True the biathlon program here is in a rebuilding phase. Most of the youth participating are too young for Arctic Winter Games. However in February the Fort Smith Ski Club will be hosting a combined ski and biathlon race and the members of the Arctic Winter Games team will be in Fort Smith to hone their skills.
The Governor General's visit and AWG Trials was not the only excitement for Hay River biathletes on the weekend. Hometown hero Brendan Green is racing in the World Cup in Austria. In the 10 K relay Green led the Canadian team into sixth place with perfect shooting and fast skis. Green's success on the weekend created a buzz among the young Arctic Winter Games team members.
Best Ever Relay Result for Brendan in World Cup Biathlon CompetitionDecember 12th, 2011 | posted by Doug Hochfilzen, Austria
December 11, 2011
In the first men’s relay event of the season, Brendan Green demonstrated top form in shooting and skiing, cleaning his two sets of targets without using any spare rounds. With the men’s team ranked 21st going into the race, Brendan faced the challenge of an unfavourable start position being boxed in at the back of the pack. He showed the great form he is capable of by threading his way through the crowded field, even overtaking the powerful Norwegian team, to tag off in 6th position at the end of his leg. Although the team was unable to hold this strong position, it helped boost the team to a respectable 15th placing, one place higher than in last season. The higher ranking will allow the team a more favourable start position in the next men’s relay event.
The relay event was a hopeful conclusion to a very difficult season start for Brendan. In a statement he made following the previous race (the 12.5 km Pursuit) one day earlier:
“It's been a really roller coaster week for me. After the last race in Sweden my back flared up quite badly related to a disk herniation that happened in late July. I thought I was going to have to fly home, but our support staff worked extra hard to get me back on my feet and things improved a lot over the last few days,” said Green who has been one of Canada’s most consistent biathletes over the last two years. “Although I picked up some misses late in the race during the standing bouts, I had a much stronger ski and was actually able to enjoy the race as apposed to yesterday which physically was a struggle from the get go. I am satisfied that I was able to maintain my position, and I am hoping I can keep things rolling in the right direction.” (from Biathlon Canada news release)
Although not able to give 100% in the skiing up until now, Brendan still managed some impressive performances in his first set of 6 World Cup events. He now leads the Canadian men’s team in total World Cup points, ranking 20th place in his strongest event: the 10 km Sprint. His accuracy in shooting has enable him to earn World Cup Points in the 4 of the 5 individual events completed so far, making this the strongest World Cup start of his career.
Canadian Biathlon ChampionshipsMarch 19th, 2011 | posted by DougMarch 25 Pursuit
The weather was colder today -12 but with a NW wind at 10-15 km. Sunny with occasional clouds 95% humidity. This made shooting difficult but our team did well placing the same or moving up. Results | photos Angeline was unable to finish her race due to those darn shin splints. The banquet was full of great food, and Roméo Dallaire was the guest speaker. He is the patrion for Biathlon Canada. He received a standing ovation. Tomorrow is the relays that should be fun.
March 24 Rest Day
Found out today that we will have an official relay. Joseph will ski up to categories to ski with Betsy and Brendan. The distance is the same 6km. There was some posturing with the race committee would not allow this. Betsy brought it to my attention that a motion had been pasted at the last Biathlon Canada AGM which allowed for this in the relay. Chris will be skiing with the Yukon Girls, Angeline; we are still trying to get her on a team. She may be skiing with Quebec as they have one girl that is ill.
Angeline went to a "Fast and Female" session with Zina and other World cup, Olympian Athletes; she said it was pretty emotional and that she really enjoyed it.
Everyone went for a ski to loosen up some muscles for tomorrow’s pursuit race.
March 23 Sprint Race
hmm it didn't save will add again later
Results | photos
March 22
Individual Race.
Long day. winds light -2 Left my bag in the lobby of the hotel with the bibs so had to make a 40 minute drive to pick them up.. Arrived 15 minutes before siight in. This is a well organized event meal cards and soup and sandwiches for athletes and coaches. Alot of $$ in this facility hmmm I wonder where that comes from.
Racing today, everyone was nervous and they should be, They are skiing with Olympians, Brendan, Zina, etc World cup athletes. Names they have heard in the clubhouse or seen or heard watching the world cups. Sight in took a few clips to get everyone settled in. They foundthe hills hard and their legs were burning, but they call skied well.
I have results in the photo's (Chuck's trick)
March 21 Official Training day today
. It was suppose to be light flurries, but it snowed most of the day. +1 but it will be -5 tonight so it should harden up. Claude is busy he has the wax for tomorrow. BC picked their wax and it was Claude's second choice, so we should be good. Alberta has 50 people they brought to nationals.
Brendan was suppose to fly into Moncton but the flight was cancelled. They (Brendan and Scott) were able to book from Montreal to Bathurst which is only about an hour drive south from Campbellton I drove to Bathurst to pick up Brendan at 5:30 this evening. World Cup biathletes- ski bags are big enough to sleep in, holds 18 pair of skis, ski boots , poles, dirty laundry and anything else you can’t get in your suitcase and the suitcase weighs 75 pounds. So this is how world cup athletes get their strength work out. So I missed opening ceremonies (Gee Chuck). Betsy was the NWT Flag Bearer chosen by her fellow athletes. .Everyone shot well at practice so I am looking forward to tomorrow. Photos
March 20
We had a practice day. Athletes did not shoot but rather focused on the trails and approaches to the range. Claude our wax tech got everything set up in the wax room. We are sharing with BC and they have lots of athletes so there will be no hanging out in the wax hut.
The venue is pretty slick with a lodge that forms the berm on one side of the range the side facing the range is all windows (bullet proof of course.) Brendan's flight to Moncton was cancelled so they (Brendan & Scott) spent the night in Montreal and will fly into Bathurst Tuesday afternoon. Photos
March 19
Brendan Green, Betsy Mawdsley, Joseph Lirette, Christopher Lirette and Angeline Magtibay will be competiting in Charlo New Brunswick. From March 21 to the 27th.
Our travel with Buffalo Air to Yellowknife and the south on West Jet to Edmonton was uneventful other that the boys were not able find enough food to fill their appetites. Angeline was busy doing her homework in the airport
Angeline busy doing homework
Betsy joins us tomorrow and we fly to Moncton on West Jet leaving at 12:35 arriving in Moncton 11:20pm local time. We then drive for about 3 hours to Campbellton where we will be staying at the Super 8 506-753-8080. Brendan will meet us there. Monday and Tuesday are training daysWednesday is the Individual Race start time 0900 and 1300Thursday 24th Sprint racesFriday 25th Training daysSaturday 26th Pursuit RaceSunday 27 Mixed Relay Monday 28th we fly back to Edmonton leaving Moncton at 06:15 and arriving 12:02pm. We are staying at the Nisku Inn 780.955.7744.Tuesday we fly to Hay River via Northwestern Air Lease leaving Edmonton at 12:30pm and arriving in Hay River 2:45pm Our weather looks good for the week. This will be an exciting competition as all the athletes are very competitive. I will try and keep this blog going and hopefully some pictures too.
Doug & Chuck's Blog - Feb 18 (Final Entry)February 18th, 2011 | posted by cliretteRace Day #4 - Relays
It was another early start and off to Martock on the 7 AM bus. I think we have the early morning routine down pat by now! Prior to leaving, we had to clean out the lock-up unit as all equipment will go directly to the airport after the last race today.
Conditions were less than ideal today - temperatures were about -3 C and we had sleet and snow in the morning as the Men's race started....which then turned to 6 straight hours of rain for the rest of the time out there. We were all fairly soaked and my coat is still drying out even now!
The boys race consisted of three loops of 2.5 km in length, shooting prone and standing with three extra rounds for each and then penalty loops for any remaining targets after that. It was a mass start, with the 9 official teams lining up first and then the 1 unofficial Yukon/NWT Team lining up by ourselves in the second row. Joseph was starting the relay, then Brandon, and Jeremy Johnson from the Yukon was the anchor.
Joseph had a very good race this morning, and had the NWT in 5th of the 10 teams after his leg of the relay. Joseph cleaned his prone and had to do one penalty loop after his standing. Brandon also shot well, hitting 9 of 10 targets and doing one penalty loop for the prone. As Brandon finished his portion of the relay, we were in 10th position and in a race to the finish with Nova Scotia. Jeremey hit 9 of 10 targets as well, missing one in the standing, and anchored the team to a 10th place finish and about a minute and a half behind NS.
The Girl's race had 3 loops of 2 km in sequence. They had the same shooting sequence and start as the boys earlier in the day. Erin Oliver-Beebe got us off to a good start, shooting 9 of 10 (one penalty lap prone) and had us in 6th after her leg. Next was Jennifer Curtis of the Yukon, who hit 9 of 10 (one miss standing) in the range and kept us in the thick of things. Gaylen was the anchor of the team and had a good start, cleaning her prone. In the standing, Gaylen missed 3 of her 5 targets and then skiied our way to a 6th place overall finish in the relay. Since we are an unofficial team, the standings will not reflect this, but we ended up ahead of Sask, PEI, NB and NS in terms of our final time.
Next was pack up time - guns, skis, wax kit, radios, etc..... We checked in 14 pieces of luggage out at Martock before climbing on board the bus for the final hour long ride back to Halifax.
Once back, a good friend texted to let me know that he had three extra tickets for the gold medal hockey game! Wow! Chuck, Joseph and Brandon were three rows up from the ice as BC beat Quebec 7-4 to win the gold medal. Joseph and Brandon even got their faces up on the big screen at on the score clock! Charlene and Gaylen managed to purchase some tickets for the game as well....can you say nosebleed?
We are up at 8 Am tomorrow and must be checked out of the room by 9 Am as they prepare for the second week of the Games. We will be meeting Charlene and Gail for breakfast before they depart on the Alberta charter for home. We are then off to the airport at 10:30 Am to check in our bags and to get the boarding passes. After this, we have the afternoon and early evening free in Halifax for one final visit and last minute shopping. It is back to the airport at 8 Pm for our 9:30 Pm departure. We travel back to Iqualiut to drop off Nunavut and then arrive in Yellowknife at 1:55 AM. Bob Swallow will be meeting us with the truck and will transport all the gear back to Hay River on Sunday morning. It will be off to the hotel in Yellowknife by 3 Am or so to crash....and then home on First Air to Hay River and Northwestern Air to Ft Smith on Sunday afternoon.
The coaching staff - Chuck, Doug, Paul and Gail - are proud to have been part of Team NWT and to work with four outstanding young men and women this week! They skiied their hearts out and left nothing on the table as they represented the north at the Canada Winter games this week!
Congratulations, and we celebrate your results and accomplishments Joseph, Gaylen, Brandon and Charlene!