• Maddie Phaneuf

World Champs Rookie

Well, the team and I have been in Austria for a week now and World Champs is about halfway done. This is my first time racing at World Championships, but it's not as scary as I was imagining. I was sort of expecting it to be filled with so much more pressure than a normal World Cup, but it feels pretty similar, which was a nice surprise.

So far I've only had one race, the 7.5 km Sprint. I was excited going into this race, with expectations of shooting well and making the Pursuit. The race started out great, skiing felt smooth and strong and my prone shooting was perfect...then I started to only focus on the results and doing well, and this is when things went downhill. The skiing into my standing shooting felt great, but once I was on the range I made stupid shooting mistakes and ended up missing two. For me, I can't afford to miss because my ski speed isn't at the same level as the other girls quite yet. Therefore, I dropped out of the top 60 into 78th place and didn't make the Pursuit. I was pretty bummed, but had to remind myself that this was my first World Champs and only my 5th individual start on the World Cup circuit. I have more chances and opportunities in the future, and it will get there...just have to be patient and persistent!

Racing the Sprint

Photo by Guillaume Favre

To be completely honest, this season has been hard on me mentally. It's hard to continue feeling motivated and excited to race when you constantly see your name at the bottom of the results list. It's been frustrating hitting 80% or less in a race when I know I can hit my targets...I did it so often at the beginning of the season and during training. It's also hard to see that I'm one of the slowest skiers in the race, even when I feel like I'm giving it everything I've got. I have found myself constantly thinking "I'm not good enough, what am I doing on the World Cup?" or just thinking "I need to hit all of my targets in order to be competitive in this field." These are not good thoughts to have during races, you don't want to be doubting yourself or only focusing on results. I just began working with our Sports Psychologist, Sean McCann, and I'm excited to figure out what works for me when I get distracted by these thoughts.

This season my teammate Joanne Reid and I have become really good friends, it's nice to have a teammate to distract you from the racing and results

Even with dissapointing results, these chicks keep me smiling! North American Alliance with Clare Egan and Emma Lunder

Photo by Gwilbaud Beytrand

Today is our rest day and our next race is the 15km Individual on Wednesday. This is one of my favorite races, because the shooting is so important and I can usually rely on my good shooting. I'm trying to go into this race without thinking about expectations or results and just go with the flow. The weather here has been absolutely amazing; beautiful mountains, sunshine, and a great atmosphere. After the Individual we have our Women's Relay which I'm also really excited for. We had a really good relay in Antholz (even with two penalties!) and I think we have a chance at doing well here.

Just a small spelling error at Opening Ceremonies...

What else to talk about... Oh yeah, this week we decided to do something new and different. We installed a Wax Cabin Confessional! Basically we just taped a GoPro to the mirror in our Wax Cabin bathroom where we can go in and talk about our race, or training, or whatever we want. We wanted to give you fans a "behind the scenes" look into the biathlon world. You can view the videos we've done so far on my YouTube channel here. Let me know what you think!

All smiles on the range at World Championships

Currently listening to: Fresh Eyes by Andy Grammar

- MP