PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.
Biathlete Nadia Moser was Yukon’s most popular person at the athlete’s village on Sunday.
Wherever she went, people wanted to shake her hand and catch a glimpse of what she humbly had tucked away in her pocket: a silver medal.
“Every time I put it away, somebody else would ask to see it again,” she said.
Moser won Yukon’s first, and so far only medal, at the Canada Winter Games on Sunday in Prince George.
She captured silver in the 12.5-kilometre individual race for Yukon’s first-ever medal in biathlon at the Canada Games.
“It’s really exciting to have that happen,” said Moser, who was Yukon’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. “I wasn’t expecting to medal.
“I couldn’t believe I got second. It didn’t sink in right away.”
Moser, who finished with a time of 46:55, hit 16 out of 20 at the range. She cleaned in her last bout, which potentially made the difference between silver and bronze.
“The last one was clean and that’s pretty impressive because it’s at the end of the 12.5-kilometre race,” said Yukon coach Laurie Jacobsen.
“The whole race we knew she was in the running, and when she came in and cleaned in the last time we thought there was a really good chance Nadia was going to be on the podium,” added Yukon coach Dennis Peters. “We really didn’t know until the actual standings came out.”
At just 17 years old, Moser is competing against some athletes three years older. Gold medalist Leilani Tam von Burg of Ontario, who finished with a time of 45:00, is 19.
Yukon teammate Maria Peters placed 21st on Sunday in the field of 39. At 16, Maria will be eligible for the 2019 Games.
“She overcame a lot of rifle issues – she was using a rifle that wasn’t hers,” said Dennis. “There was an issue with the sights and we couldn’t repair it in time.
“She shot 14 out of 20. She didn’t do well her first time in and then she shot really well after that.
“Maria is a year younger than Nadia, so she’s skiing up two categories.”
Yukon’s two biathletes in Prince George will next compete in the sprint on Tuesday and finish the competition with the pursuit on Wednesday.
As for which event Moser considers her strongest, she isn’t sure.
“I have no idea,” said Moser. “It depends on the day. I really don’t know what’s going to happen…
“I’ll just keep on doing what I’ve been doing, for the other races.”
Moser isn’t new to climbing podium steps. She was the only Yukon athlete to win three gold medals at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games. She also won a silver at a North American Cup in December.
After two days of competition, Moser’s medal propelled Yukon all the way up to the number five spot in the medal standings, on top of eight provinces and territories.
Quebec sat at the top of the heap with 12. British Columbia, which is hosting its first winter edition of the Canada Games, was tied with Ontario with 10 medals. Alberta was in fourth with six.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org