Welcome to “17 Questions for 2017”, where we are catching up with American and Canadian national-team members before the beginning of the winter season.
Canada’s Emma Lunder had her big break in 2014, when she finished 30th in her first-ever World Cup sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Now 25 years old, the Biathlon Canada “B” teamer has a few more World Cup starts under her belt, including a tenth-place relay result in Hochfilzen last season with teammates Julia Ransom, Megan Tandy, and Rosanna Crawford.
Lunder missed the cut for the first period of World Cup racing, finishing eighth (+1:30.4) and ninth (+43.7) behind Crawford in national team trials in Canmore in November. But then she has also jumped in a ski race, placing third in an 8.1 k Alberta Cup race behind American cross-country skiers Chelsea Holmes of APU and 2010 Olympian Caitlin Gregg of Team Gregg.
Lunder is set to start racing on the IBU Cup circuit Ridnaun, Italy, this week.
1. Biggest change in your life in the last five or so months since the ski season ended?
The biggest change in my life since the ski season ended has probably been the amount of time I’ve been spending in Calgary. I’ve been heading into the city almost every weekend to spend time with my boyfriend (Christian Gow) and his amazing family. Since my family lives in Vernon and Yellowknife, it’s been pretty special to have a home away from home to relax and recharge at on the weekends.
2. Biggest change in your training?
I was really happy with the training I put in last year, so my approach this year was very similar. There haven’t been too many changes, but I’ve put a much larger emphasis on core work, which usually includes a pilates session every week, as well as trying to be better about rest and recovery.
3. Major areas of improvement you’ve seen so far?
This year I’ve put a lot of focus towards my shooting, and I think with something like shooting there’s always going to be more to improve, but so far I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve made.
4. Whom you’ve been working closest with this offseason (coaches or training partners)?
Julia, Rosanna and Sarah have been my closest training partners all season. We’ve definitely become a tighter group of teammates and friends, with another year of learning and understanding how we work best together.
5. Best trip in the last five months (and why)?
Our team spent three weeks in New Zealand this summer, and it was an amazing experience. I loved being able to ski right from the door, come inside to an amazing meal, take a nap and do it all over again. Skiing on snow in August is always a perk.
6. Favorite cross-training?
Running! On rest weeks I love exploring new trails wherever I am (or old favorites, like the trails I grew up running on in Vernon). And nothing beats running with a dog – Rosanna’s dog Gonzo has joined us on more running workouts this year than I can count.
7. Favorite non-athletic activity or pastime this summer?
Reading! Last January a close group of my friends decided we’d keep track of how many books we read in 2016 and compare notes in the new year. I’m currently on book #39. Also, this summer I picked up some sourdough starter from my dad in Yellowknife, so twice a week Christian and I have the most amazing sourdough waffles for lunch.
8. Song that was your jam this summer?
Closer – The Chainsmokers. And basically anything country.
9. All time favorite race moment?
My 2nd place finish at the Canmore IBU Cups in 2015. Racing in Canada with my family and friends watching, PLUS my first ever podium was an unbeatable experience.
10. First thing you pack in your bag when you leave for Europe?
My Kindle + one hardcover book. I love being able to turn real pages for at least a few days on tour.
11. Venue/event you’re most excited to visit this season?
The venue I’m most excited to visit this season is Hochfilzen, Austria. If I’m racing there in February it’ll mean I’ve qualified for my first ever World Championships, which has been a major goal of mine since I started my biathlon career.
12. Who will win the World Cup title this year?
Martin Fourcade and Rosanna Crawford!
13. Biggest sacrifice you feel you’ve made choosing this career path?
I know I’m extremely lucky to be following my dreams right now, but I fret about being a freshman at the age of 30.
14. If you could change one thing about your sport, what would it be?
I would eradicate doping. I think if we could erase any doubts about who is racing clean and who isn’t, biathlon would be pretty close to perfect.
15. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Homemade eggs benny and cinnamon buns! (Sunday morning breakfasts in Calgary are always the best)
16. In 5 years, I’ll be ____?
Beginning my 30’s.. and hopefully a career?
17. In 50 years, I’ll be ____?
Reading book after book to my grandchildren.