• Maddie Phaneuf

Biathlon by the Numbers

5 months on the road

7 countries

12 hotel beds

18 flights

25,503 air miles (41,043 km)

2,244 driving miles (3,611 km)

20 competitions

10 hours of racing

4 loads of laundry

5 celebrations

Best Airport Helsinki, Finland

It was clean, bright, and not a huge airport which made it easy to get from one gate to another.

Worst Airport Chicago O'Hare, USA

Almost every time I fly through Chicago I end up getting flight delays or cancellations, usually due to weather. If I can, I try to avoid this airport at all costs.

Traveling is fun!

Best Drive Martell, Italy to Ruhpolding, Germany

The mountains in Martell are so beautiful, and it's a really fun drive through several mountain passes and twisty roads. Arriving in Ruhpolding this year there was so much fresh snow it was like a true winter!

Worst Drive Tallin, Estonia to Otepää, Estonia

Only because I didn't have any of my luggage from my flight, so I was in a bad mood on top of being jet lagged from South Korea. In general it's a pretty boring drive, with flat terrain and one straight road.

View from the hotel in Martell, Italy

Best Race IBU Cup Trials in Mt. Itasca, Minnesota

During the Mass Start I hit all 20 out of 20 targets for the first time ever! I had done it in training many times, but never in a race. I was so happy! The temperature was in the single digits and I could barely feel my fingers, but it was a race to remember.

Worst Race IBU Cup 7.5 km Sprint in Otepää, Estonia

Turns out when you're fighting off sickness and just traveled back from South Korea, your body does not enjoy racing. I felt like I was barely moving during this race, and then only hitting 80% doesn't up your chances of a good result.

Clean race in Minnesota!

Best Bed Antholz, Italy

I had my own bedroom with a view looking up at these beautiful mountains. The internet was pretty good, food was amazing, and we were only a 5 minute ski from the venue.

Worst Bed PyeongChang, South Korea

There were so many stink bugs in our room, I officially can't stand that smell. There were no outlets near the bed, and the window shades were not dark enough to keep out the light in the morning. This was an issue because we were trying to sleep until noon due to our race schedule. On the plus side, Korea did have the best internet on tour.

Antholz, Italy

Sorry, didn't have a photo of my room in Korea so here's our tiny room in Estonia

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

It's always fun to celebrate with your teammates, and this season we celebrated with birthdays and great results! The winter birthdays included Emily Dreissigacker, Tim Burke, and Susan Dunklee. We also got to celebrate two World Championship medals, a first for US Biathlon. Lowell Bailey won US Biathlon's first GOLD medal, while Susan reached the SILVER medal!! These accomplishments are historic and I was so excited to be there to experience them.

The entire US Biathlon Team at the medal ceremony for Lowell's Gold

(Clearly didn't get the "wear orange" memo)

First Time for Everything

This season was full of firsts for me. I cleaned a four-stage race, got a top-10 finish on the IBU Cup, made my first World Championships Team, visited Asia, raced a Single Mixed Relay, spent my longest time in Europe, learned how to play poker, hearts, and cribbage, also learned how to bridge a deck of cards, rode in my first taxi, and ate white rice for every meal one day.

Visited the Chicago Bean

Racing at my first World Championships

Photo by Nordic Focus

Currently listening to: Keep Your Tongue by BLØSH

- MP