BiathlonGeneralInterviewsJuniors20-for-20 with Vasek Cervenka

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 22, 2017
American Vasek Cervenka (front right) racing at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Courtesy photo)

In another 20-something-question, fill-in-the-blanks series, we checked in with the world-class U.S. and Canadian biathletes that will be competing at 2017 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth & Junior World Championships Feb. 22-28 in Osrblie (also known as Brezno-Osrblie), Slovakia.

Here’s 18-year-old Vasek Cervenka, of Grand Rapids, Minn., who will be representing the U.S. at his second Youth Worlds. Last year, Cervenka spent the winter of 2015/2016 training in the Czech Republic, and he’s been there since January of this year (with plans to stay until mid-April).

On Wednesday, Cervenka led the U.S. in 16th in the youth men’s 12.5-kilometer individual, the first race of 2017 IBU Youth World Championships.

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“My full name is Vaclav Cervenka but you can call me Vasek (VAH-SHEK). I was born in Boulder, Colo., and raised in Grand Rapids, Minn. I started cross-country skiing when I was able to walk, parents say 9 months old, and started biathlon when I was 13, thanks to my parents.

I currently train in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, and Grand Rapids, Minn., with the Nove Mesto biathlon team or with Jakob Ellingson and Vladimir Cervenka.

U.S. teammates Vasek Cervenka (l) and Cam Christiansen at the Junior IBU Cup #3 in Pokljuka, Slovenia. (Courtesy photo)

If I’m not skiing, you might find me drinking tea watching ‘Rick and Morty’ or ‘Game of Thrones’.

If I had to pick a favorite book, it would be ‘The Adventures of Captain Underpants’ by Dave Pilkey.

One of the things I’m most excited about for Youth/Junior World Championships in Brezno-Osrblie is meeting pretty foreign girls 🙂 (SC – vashiggy_21)

This will be my second Youth/Junior World Championships, and this year, I’m competing as a youth. One race I’m especially targeting there is the 12.5 k individual.

The best advice anyone ever gave me about skiing or racing was ‘Don’t give a s**t about anyone else racing, focus on yourself.’

One of the best race memories I have is the 2016 Youth Olympic games 10 k pursuit.

If I could meet one World Cup biathlete, it would be Martin Fourcade.

If I don’t end up being a professional skier, I’ll probably be colonizing Mars (sponsor me Elon Musk).

I’m missing zero days of school to be here, and my teachers/professors are probably thinking, ‘Good call doing online school.’

You can follow me on Instagram @Vashiggy_21.”

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