Biathlon Canada announced earlier this month that Chris Lindsay would leave his position as High Performance Director to assume the role of High Performance Advisor to summer sports at Own the Podium. With over four years as High Performance Director, Lindsay departs Biathlon Canada having fostered a program that has risen to the highest level of international competition.
A former biathlete who competed at both the national and international level, Lindsay has been with Biathlon Canada for roughly eight years. Previously serving as Technical Programs Coordinator, he was hired in 2010 as High Performance Director. Before joining Biathlon Canada Lindsay worked in the summer sports industry, including aquatic recreation and competitive canoeing and kayaking.
According to Lindsay, his current progression from winter to summer sports is natural given his transition between the two realms over the years. As High Performance Advisor he will work with a variety of summer sports programs’ high performance directors to realize the potential their programs hold and get them the resources necessary to realize that potential.
“While I absolutely love [being biathlon’s High Performance Director], the sport, and the athletes and the fantastic staff that I get to work with, I had this opportunity come up with Own the Podium,” Lindsay said in a phone interview. He continued, adding that the new position was the next step in his journey, “in terms of providing me with a fresh challenge and providing me with new opportunities to support high performance sport, specifically winning Olympic and World Championships medals.”
Biathlon Canada’s President, Murray Wylie, said in a press release that Lindsay would be missed by the organization. “Chris has played an integral role in leading the strategic transformation of Canada’s high-performance biathlon program from a group of participants to medal contenders at the Olympics, World Championships and World Cups during his five years with Biathlon Canada,” Wylie wrote. “He leaves having positioned Biathlon Canada with the opportunity to deliver a medal-winning performance at the 2018 Games, and beyond.”
While Lindsay is content with his decision to leave Biathlon Canada, it doesn’t come without challenges. The former high performance director said he will not only miss the relationships with those in the biathlon community, but also opportunity to be present at races in the coming years, especially the IBU World Cup in Canmore in early February of 2016.
“In a way it makes it very challenging to leave because you want to continue to be a part of this machine that has this momentum going forward,” Lindsay said. “I think the hardest part about leaving Biathlon Canada, beyond the relationships with the athletes and the staff, is that I am not going to be around for the home World Cup next season.”
While Lindsay’s new job will keep him busy throughout the next year, he plans to schedule a vacation during the Canmore World Cup week and volunteer at the event in order to reconnect with some of his former athletes.
Looking back at his career with Biathlon Canada, Lindsay said that the sport is an example of success in the Canadian system. Just in the last year the team had several top-10 performances on the World Cup, the most notable of which were Nathan Smith’s silver medal in the sprint at World Championships and his victory in a late-season World Cup pursuit. “The systematic successes we have seen prove the mission and how we’ve been able to execute it,” Lindsay explained.
Although some of Biathlon Canada’s target races are several years out, most notably the 2018 Olympics, Lindsay is certain that the program he has been a part of for eight years will achieve its goals and then some.
“We have been working hard as a nation to be recognized as a real member of the club and we fully expect that by the 2018 season,” Lindsay said. “We will be firmly recognized as a top-10 nation in the sport and we will be regularly, perhaps not frequently but regularly, converting medals at the World Cup and World Championships level. There will always be setbacks and there will be dry spells, but if the machine is fully functioning then we have multiple athletes who can take the mantle.”
There was no official word from Biathlon Canada regarding Lindsay’s replacement.
Lander Karath is FasterSkier's Associate Editor from Bozeman, Montana and a Bridger Ski Foundation alumnus. Between his studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, he is an outdoor enthusiast and a political junkie.