In another 20-something-question, fill-in-the-blanks series, we checked in with the world-class U.S. and Canadian biathletes before they competed at 2017 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth & Junior World Championships Feb. 22-28 in Osrblie (also known as Brezno-Osrblie), Slovakia.
Here’s 20-year-old Charlotte Hamel, of Biathlon Estrie, who represented Canada at her third Youth/Junior Worlds. Hamel started the 12.5 k individual but did not finish due to illness.
“My full name is Charlotte Hamel, and I don’t have a nickname so just call me Charlotte! I was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, raised in this beautiful city, and one thing you should know about my hometown is even if it small, it’s the best place if you are a sports lover.
I started cross-country skiing when I was born because my parents use to bring me in a baby glider when they were skiing. I learned to ski the same time I started to walk. I started biathlon when I was 8, thanks to big brother Félix, who introduced me to this wonderful sport.
I currently train in Sherbrooke with Biathlon Estrie at our training center in Stoke, a little village close to Sherbrooke.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me in the kitchen doing some cooking or in a cafe doing some homework.
If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be… I really don’t know!! I read a lot, about five book a year or more, but if I had to chose only one it will be ‘Le voleur d’ombre’ by Marc Levy because I read it really quickly.
One of the things I’m most excited about for Youth/Junior World Championships in Brezno-Osrblie is to be one of the oldest athletes here! I will be sharing my experience, and that’s really nice.
This will be my third Youth/Junior World Championships, and this year, I’m competing as a junior. One race I’m especially targeting there is the individual.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was to always cross the finish line with a smile. Whatever happed in your race, there always be something good and something that you can learn about. If you can’t see that, that’s means you’re too hard on yourself, and it will be harder to make improvements.
One of the best race memories I have is when I won my first gold medal at nationals. It was at my first year as a senior girl and it was the first time I cleaned a race. I wasn’t the fastest skier so be able to win the sprint was really impressive for me and it showed me that I can do anything!
If I could meet one World Cup biathlete, it would be Ole Einar Bjørndalen, because he is the greatest biathlete of all time and even if his not the fastest, he is always shooting great and he is still doing podiums.
If I don’t end up being a professional biathlete, I’ll probably be opening my own coffee/bakery shop or I’ll be in the woods doing some research for an environmental group.
I’m missing 18 days of school to be here, and my teachers/professors are probably thinking, ‘That’s not good for her grades.’
You can follow me on Instagram @hamel.charlotte.”