Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Team Triumph and Personal Failure: IBU Cup Trials

Trials races are always challenging and emotional. This season's editions proved no exception.

After posting poor results in all of the rollerski trials so far this season, I entered the final winter trials hungry for success. I hoped to carry my good shooting and skiing form from Canada, through trials and into the Olympic selection IBU Cups.

Unfortunately, I caught a small bug and was unable to train for a few days following the final NorAm Cup in Canmore. This setback was unfortunate, but hardly insurmountable.

The frigid and snowy Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Complex in Coleraine, Minnesota provided the setting for the final selection races of the season.

I have many fond memories of racing as a young athlete at Mt. Itasca. Some of my best sporting moments took place there. Unfortunately, despite improving ski form I was well outside of my goal of qualifying for the IBU Cup team. My shooting and more importantly, my inability to control my emotions and expectations where the culprits behind my poor performances.  It doesn't take a veteran biathlon coach to recognize that these factored are clearly linked.  These two factors have dogged my racing for the entirety of my career. After four years of full time training I am still grappling with these challenges.

My personal performance aside, I am very proud of my teammates Casey Smith and Russell Currier for qualifying for the team. I know they will perform well in Europe. My teammate Katrina Howe also put together an outstanding performance of the first day of trials to win the opening race. The success of my teammates helps to take a portion of the sting from my personal failure. Their success validates the work we did together and opens the door for dreams of my own success in the future.

My immediate future holds a much needed reunion with my family for the holidays. I will use this time to decompress from the stresses of the past 3 months and seek clarity in my sporting and personal life.

Most importantly, I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, teammates, former coaches, mentors and sponsors (see right of page) for their generous support of my pursuit of athletic excellence. Without all of these pieces of support I would not be able to do what I love.

I don't know what the rest of this season will hold for me, but I intend to carry it out in the most professional and honorable manner possible.


  1. I'm sorry you didn't qualify for the Europe races this time, but you're still a champion to your adoptive students and teachers back at Wallagrass Elementary School!!! Enjoy your time with your family, Raleigh!

  2. Raleigh, the most important thing right now is to find the good in all of your friendships, travels and adventures! Love you, MB, Jeff, Kali, Hannah and Connor

  3. You are always a star to us, Raleigh!