For the U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA), the winter of 2010 was one of ups and downs. High points included Tim Burke’s podium performances in the early season, which culminated with his donning of the yellow bib of World Cup overall leader after a race in Slovenia. The Olympics were less successful, with Jeremy Teela’s ninth-place leading the way—but the team’s dissatisfaction with a single top-ten is a testament to how far the program has come in recent years.
Executive Director Max Cobb has worked for USBA on and off for over 20 years, and has been through thick and thin with the organization. He sat down with me in March at the North American Biathlon Championships in Fort Kent to rehash the year and discuss the sport more broadly. As Chief of Range at the Olympics in Vancouver, he had an intimate view of the snafus in the pursuit races there, and with two biathlon World Cup races coming up in the U.S. next year, he was able to give us a few of the details on those. Cobb also discussed some of the challenges of operating a single-sport governing body, as well as development.
Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.