• Maddie Phaneuf


As the title of this blog points out, I'm going through some changes. After a lot of consideration and thought, I will be taking this season off from biathlon racing at the elite level. (I'm sorry this is such a plot twist!!) Note, I am NOT quitting, I am taking a break. I'll honestly probably still jump in some small races here in the States. But my plan right now is to take this fall/winter/spring as some good quality time away from the competitiveness and stress of the sport, and live a little! Then be back more motivated for the 2019/20 season.

I was enjoying training this summer after we got a new head coach, I felt like I was improving a lot and just having a lot of fun. I made many gains this summer, but as soon as I made the move to Boulder, CO, and was away from the "bubble" of the Olympic Training Center, I was reminded of how much the world has to offer. There are SO many things out there that make me happy. Living in my own house, cooking my own meals, working a job, going to events, and being active in other sports - all these things make me so excited and happy about life.

Before I knew it, I hadn't rollerskied or touched my rifle in two weeks. This was sort of a wake up call for me. I need to allow myself to follow my other passions for a bit and not feel guilty about it. If I force myself to train and race this winter, it will feel more like a chore rather than what I love doing. Therefore, I want to give myself the opportunity to follow my other passions for a little bit, in order to appreciate the biathlon lifestyle. In case you didn't know, I've been specifically training for this sport 6 days a week 11 months out of the year for the past 5 years!! It has been my entire life since high school, so I think I deserve a mini break.

I want my followers and fans to understand that this decision has taken me a lot of courage and processing to finally admit that I need a break in order to continue the sport that I love so much. I know if I continue training and racing when I'm not fully committed or passionate, then I will burn out and leave the sport on a bad note. My plan is to be able to throw my energy into other projects of mine, give back to the ski community, and come back even stronger and more stoked in 2019!

I'll be sure to continue updating you all through Facebook, Instagram, and this blog on my new hobbies this season. I already signed up for a pottery class that starts in a couple of weeks! I thank you all for your understanding in my decision, and appreciate your love and support. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!

Currently listening to: 1950 by King Princess

- MP