• Maddie Phaneuf

Home for the holidays...but not for long

Photo by Karen Brown

For those of you who don't follow my Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram...I'm going to the IBU Cup!! This was expected, considering I won three out of the three qualifying races, but it's official now. I will be heading out to Europe on the first day of the New Year and will begin my race season in Martell, Italy. This was where I ended my international season last year, and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Martell is a little mountain village in South Tyrol where you must take a small, winding road from the bottom of the valley all the way up. Martell is famous for their strawberries and their incredibly difficult biathlon course! I'm excited to spend time here again and work on my altitude racing (about 6,000 feet or so). Fun fact: although I will be in Italy, a majority of the population in this area speaks German!


From this first weekend of IBU Cup racing I have the opportunity to qualify for World Cups #5 and #6, that take place in Ruhpolding, Germany and Antholz, Italy...two of my favorite venues! I'm hoping to keep up the great shooting percentages and ski fast to earn a spot on the World Cup.

In other news, after my races in Minnesota, I headed home to Old Forge, New York to spend time with my family for Christmas. It was a mini "vacation" for me, just about a week, but was full of fun! I spent time skiing around on my hometown trails at McCauley Mountain and the Thendara Golf Course, went snowshoeing and downhill skiing for the first time this season, got to catch up with friends, and get interviewed by my local newspaper! I'm so happy I get to say that I'm from this small, but super supportive community.

First day back home, see myself on the front page of the paper!

Family snowshoe with my dad and my brother Sam

Downhill skiing with Nikki and Zach King

Skiing at the golf course with two of my siblings, Olivia and Sam

My hometown ski club, the Polar Bears!

Mom ski selfie

Annual Christmas Eve party at the Getty's; Leif Frymire and I getting into the holiday spirit

My sister Olivia and I on Christmas Eve

Now I'm back in Lake Placid until I fly out in just five days! I'll be here training with my teammates Clare Egan and Joanne Reid. If things go well overseas, I won't be back stateside until the very end of March. So, if you're around and want to meet up before I leave, shoot me a message! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza/(insert other holidays here) and a Happy New Year!!

Currently listening to: Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

- MP