In another 20-something-question, fill-in-the-blanks series, we checked in with the world-class U.S. and Canadian biathletes that competed at 2017 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth & Junior World Championships Feb. 22-28 in Osrblie (also known as Brezno-Osrblie), Slovakia.
Here’s 15-year-old Helen Wilson, of Alaska Nordic Racing and Anchorage Biathlon Club, who represented the U.S at her first Youth Worlds. In two individual races at the championships, she placed 62nd in the youth women’s 10 k individual and 67th in the 6 k sprint.
“My full name is Helen Rachel Wilson, but you can call me Helen Watermelon. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska, raised in Eagle River, Alaska, and one thing you should know about my hometown is… ‘We can see Russia from here.’
I started cross-country skiing when I was 7 and started biathlon when I was 12 thanks to my dad. I currently train in Anchorage and Eagle River with Alaska Nordic Racing and Anchorage Biathlon Club.
If I’m not skiing, you might find me on the ice rink practicing my salchow and lutz.
If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘A Lost Pearle‘.
One of the things I’m most excited about for Youth/Junior World Championships in Brezno-Osrblie is traveling to new lands, meeting new people, trying new foods and skiing new trails.
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 race.
The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was get 12 hours of sleep before each race.
One of the best race memories I have is winning the 5K free style Besh Cup #2, a Junior National qualifier.
If I could meet one World Cup skier, it would be…well I’ve already met Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Annelies Cook, Andrea Burke, Sara Studabaker, Zach Hall, Holly Brooks, and Kikkan Randall….but I would love to meet them all again.
If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be a secret intelligence agent for the CIA.
I’m missing 35 days of school to be here, and my teachers are probably thinking, ‘She has dropped out of school to be a ski bum.’
You can follow me on Instagram at @907.helen.”