Over Christmas break, CSS sophomore Kelsey Dickinson qualified for the Open European Championships (also known as the U-26 World Championships) and the Junior World Championships in the sport of biathlon.
"I'm just enjoying the fact that I qualified for these races and I get to have this amazing experience racing in Europe," exclaimed Dickinson, who is also a member of the CSS Nordic Ski team.
The unique sport of biathlon combines the endurance sport of cross-country skiing with rifle shooting. After skiing some distance, the biathlete must steady themselves to aim their 22-caliber rife-which they carry on their backs throughout the race-at a target 50 meters down range.
Her performance in several races over break granted her a chance to race at the international level.
Biathlon holds a higher state of popularity in Europe and that can be felt while training, according to Dickinson who has been training in Germany and the Czech Rebublic since January 20th. "Everyone here is at a higher level, so practices are run more promptly and the range is a very crazy place with so many people from so many places."
Dickinson first tried the sport in high school, but has pursued it more seriously since moving to Duluth almost two years ago.
The Open European Championship races began Wednesday in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic with three additional races through the weekend. Updates will be posted on her blog, kelseyjdickinson.blogspot.com.
For the time being, she has been training in Europe but will fly to Presque Isle, Maine at the beginning of February to train for the Junior World Championships occurring in the first week of March.
When asked about her future biathlon ambitions, Dickinson stated, "I'm sure this isn't the last you will see of me in this sport if I have any say in it."