In this 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 17-year-old Eli Nielsen, of Methow Valley Nordic (MVNT), who represented the U.S. at his first Youth Worlds. In two individual races, Nielsen finished 82nd in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint and 91st in the 12.5 k individual.
“My full name is Camren Eli Nielsen, but you can call me Eli. I was born in Stehekin, Wash., raised in Stehekin/Methow Valley, and one thing you should know about my hometown is there are no roads to it and I have a monopoly on the Gumball business.
I started cross-country skiing when I was 14 and started biathlon when I was 14, thanks to my parents and coaches. I currently train in the Methow Valley with MVNT.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me in the mountains.
If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘HMS Surprise’ by Patrick O’Brian.
One of the things I’m most excited about for Youth/Junior World Championships in Brezno-Osrblie is some awesome race experiences!
This will be my first Youth/Junior World Championships, and this year, I’m competing as a youth.One race I’m especially targeting there is the sprint.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was to relax and focus on the race plan.
One of the best race memories I have is racing in Lillehammer Norway at YOG.
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be Laura Dahlmeier.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be a professional ski bum.
I’m missing too many days of school to be here, and my teachers are probably thinking, ‘Does he still go to this school?‘
You can follow me on Instagram @nielsen_eli.”