Nordic Nation: US Biathlon’s Joanne Reid Makes Her Mark

Jason AlbertJune 27, 2017

Back in the spring of 2013, NCAA champion Joanne Reid was at the proverbial fork in the road: pursue academics after graduating with an Applied Mathematics degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU) or compete as an elite-level nordic skier? Reid was coming off a collegiate season where she won the 15-kilometer freestyle and helped the CU Buffs win outright at NCAA Skiing Championships.

Joanne Reid celebrates her win in the 15 k freestyle at 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships at the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, Vt. (Photo:

It turns out, Reid, who turns 25 on Wednesday, is near completion for a master’s in engineering. And as it turns out, she also pursued skiing as a biathlete at the highest level.

Last season was Reid’s first shot at a full World Cup biathlon schedule. And on the first World Cup weekend, she placed 29th in the individual 15 k individual in Östersund, Sweden, helping her earn an US Biathlon A-team nomination for this season.

In this episode, we’ll hear Reid explain why she chose biathlon over straight-up cross-country skiing (one hint: there’s no kick wax), and why she’s willing to forgo the doctorate for the time being. Reid appears to be a mover and shaker: when not based at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center, this desert lover doesn’t shy away from high temps, cacti or sweeping sandstone vistas. For the time being, Reid, who grew up in Houghton, Mich., and Palo Alto, Calif., lives and trains in western Colorado’s mesa country. From the sound of it, she says the desert is set up quite nicely for target practice.

US Biathlon A-team member Joanne Reid during target practice — desert style — in western Colorado. (Courtesy photo)

And a heads up for those listening on headphones, due to a small technical error the audio sounds best on a speaker.

(To subscribe to the Nordic Nation podcast channel, download the iTunes app. If you have iTunes, subscribe to Nordic Nation here.)

Reid and one of her three canine training partners. Reid will spend much of the summer training in western Colorado. (Courtesy photo)
Reid getting some air with her guitar. (Courtesy photo)

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Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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