Yukon biathletes set high water mark at Arctic Games

It didn't take long for last week's Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland to have the appearance of being an historic one for Biathlon Yukon.

It didn’t take long for last week’s Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland to have the appearance of being an historic one for Biathlon Yukon.

On the first day of racing, Yukon ski and snowshoe biathletes won 10 medals – one more than Yukon won at the entire 2014 Games for biathlon.

“Our team shot really well … I think it’s because we train in difficult conditions, in the wind and in the cold,” said Yukon coach Laurie Jacobsen. “Our kids are becoming very fine shooters. They are just so comfortable with it they just took it with them to Greenland. We had some really good performances in the shooting.

“That team is just a fantastic team. We really work well together and they’re such good kids and it was just a fantastic experience. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

By the end of competition on Friday, Yukon had raced to a team record of 27 medals in ski biathlon and snowshoe biathlon, more than a quarter of the 100 Team Yukon brought home from the Games.

Whitehorse brothers Liam and Aidan Adel produced the lion’s share of the gold medals in Nuuk.

Liam, 17, won Yukon’s first gold medal of the Games, taking first in the junior male’s 7.5-kilometre ski biathlon race on March 8.

“I was quite happy to take gold with the competition out there,” said Liam. “It really did prove to me the training the coaching staff has provided has done well for me and the other athletes. It felt really good to win that race, it kind of set up the whole week.”

Liam went on to take another gold in the six-kilometre sprint and a bronze in the 7.5-kilometre mass start race.

“I feel pretty lucky to be part of that team, to come down and do as well as we did,” said Liam. “The training and time has been put in and it obviously reflected in our results. The coaching staff has done a great job getting these athletes ready.”

“The highlight for me was coming in and overcoming some interesting conditions: a new range, a flat course with no hills, no trees. It was good to come and shoot and ski as well as I did on an unfamiliar course and watch the whole team adapt so quickly.”

Younger brother Aidan picked up his medals in juvenile male snowshoe biathlon. The 14-year-old won gold in the 2.5-kilometre mass start race and in the two-kilometre sprint.

“It was my first year with the team and it’s a great team,” said Aidan. “The fact that we all went there, did as well as we did in a new place, and the fact we stuck together as a team, felt really good.”

“My first gold medal, I was very surprised,” he added. “I was very happy that for my first international competition I could do that well.”

Aiden wasn’t the only fairly new biathlete to have success in Nuuk. Whitehorse’s Veronica Porter, who is in just her second season of biathlon, won a silver in the juvenile female snowshoe biathlon sprint and helped Yukon’s relay team win bronze.

“It was pretty fun. It was really interesting to meet all the people and having everybody winning a bunch of medals,” said Porter, 12.

“I like the combination of the skiing and the shooting. It’s really fun,” she added.

“There was a day where you could go out and try it to see if you wanted to join, so we tried it out and I really liked it so I joined.”

Yukon actually won 28 medals last week if you count the Alberta Provincial Biathlon Championships in Hinton. Whitehorse’s Jake Draper won a bronze at the championship on March 6.

Two other factors may have contributed to the success of the Yukon biathletes in Greenland. Yamal, Russia – which won 46 medals in biathlon at the last Arctics – didn’t enter a biathlon team this year. Also, for the first time in years Yukon had a full team with 16 athletes competing in ski and snowshoe biathlon.

“I think all but one of these snowshoe biathletes are also ski biathletes and decided to take up snowshoeing just for Arctics,” said Jacobsen. “We had one girl, Hanna Korn, who came in for snowshoe biathlon and now she’s going to try skiing.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Ski biathlon medals

Gold

Liam Adel (7.5 km individual)

Liam Adel (6.0 km sprint)

Silver

Dana Sellars (5.0 km individual)

Aidan Hupe (5.0 km individual)

Maria Peters (7.5 km individual)

Bronwyn Goodwin (4.0 km sprint)

Maria Peters (6.0 km sprint)

Maria Peters (7.5 km mass start)

Team Yukon (3×4.5 km relay)

Bronze

Bronwyn Goodwin (5.0 km individual)

Romeo Champagne (5.0 km individual)

Micah Hildes (7.5 km individual)

Daniel Sennett (6.0 km sprint)

Dana Sellars (5.0 km mass start)

Liam Adel (7.5 mass start)

Snowshoe biathlon medals

Gold

Bruce Wilson (4.0 km mass start)

Aidan Adel (2.5 km mass start)

Aidan Adel (2.0 km sprint)

Team Yukon (3×2.0 km relay)

Silver

Bruce Wilson (3.0 km sprint)

Veronica Porter (2.0 km sprint)

Bronze

Marika Kitchen (4.0 km mass start)

Marika Kitchen (3.0 km sprint)

Marika Kitchen (5.0 km individual)

Bruce Wilson (5.0 km individual)

Aidan Adel (3.0 km individual)

Team Yukon (3×2.0 km relay)

Just Posted

Yukon Fish and Game Association opposed to moose management proposals

Executive director Eric Schroff said he thinks Yukon government needs to be more transparent

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Casino taking more time with mine proposal

Statement not expected to be submitted to YESAB until Dec. 31, 2021

New act allows Yukon College to become Yukon University

The official launch of Yukon University will happen May 8 with a convocation ceremony

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

Most Read