• Maddie Phaneuf

End of the International Season

Tere! That's "hello" in Estonian for those of you that aren't fluent in the language. I'm currently in Otepää, Estonia for the final IBU Cup races of the season, which are also my final international races of this season. Unfortunately, the jet lag hit me pretty hard traveling from South Korea, and my immune system took a toll. I woke up the morning of the Single Mixed Relay with a scratchy throat which has progressively gotten worse.

This was my very first time racing the Single Mixed Relay and it was a blast despite fighting off a cold! The wind made the shooting tricky, but I was pleased with the race all-in-all. The next day we did a Sprint, and this was honestly the worst race of my entire season. I felt like total garbage on the skis, and the shooting was mediocre (80%). I found myself all the way down to 68th, and I was really disappointed with the race.

After feeling terrible during the race and not getting any better the following days, my coaches and I decided to skip the second Sprint race (which was today) so that I have some energy and health for the final Relay of the season. I'm excited that the final race of my international season will be a relay, because they're my favorite race format! I am a bit bummed that my body isn't in it's top form right now, so the racing will be really tough.

After this trip I will be heading home and I'm so excited to be in one place for a while. I am planning on visiting my former Elementary/High school next week and talking to all of the students about the effects of climate change and what we can do to help the environment with the help of Protect Our Winters! I will also talk to them a bit about what my life is like as a full time biathlete. I'm really excited to give back to the community and inform future generations. If you're reading this and you want me to come to your school (or event/group) and talk about climate change or my sport, please contact me! I would be happy to come and talk!

Another exciting event that is happening later this month is Girls With Guns! My biathlon teammates and I are holding the very first event in Craftsbury, Vermont on March 26th. This will be a free biathlon clinic for girls age 8-18 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. You can preregister for the event here, or show up at the center at 2:30 to register and check in! You can expect to learn how to shoot a biathlon rifle in a safe and fun environment, join in on ski games and activities, as well as meet and ask National Team members and former Olympians questions! We already have about 30 girls registered, and that number is climbing if you're at all interested, please sign up or show up on the 26th!

This trip got me back into listening to podcasts. If you want any recommendations, some of my favorites are "The Dirtbag Diaries", "Nausicaa Cast", and "Powder 8 Podcast". "The Dirtbag Diaries" is a podcast full of different stories about dreamers, athletes and wanderers. "Nausicaa Cast" is a podcast that interviews different female badasses, whether they're professional skiers or adventurers; so far this ones my favorite! And "Powder 8 Podcast" is a podcast for backcountry skiers where you can learn about the history of skiing, gear, and what the future holds!

That about sums it up for now. My final races are US Nationals in Vermont about a week after I fly home, and I'll definitely write an "end of the season" blog post, so be on the lookout for that!

Currently listening to: Coins by Local Natives

- MP