Nordic Nation: Max Cobb, US Biathlon’s Straight Shooter

Jason AlbertOctober 18, 2017


In this episode, we speak with the president and CEO of the US Biathlon Association (USBA), Max Cobb. For nearly three decades, Cobb has been part of US Biathlon — first as an organizer of the domestic racing series and eventually as the executive director in March of 2006. Just over a year ago, he was elected Vice President for Sport of the International Biathlon Union (IBU), becoming the first American on the IBU Executive Board.

Lowell Bailey (USA) celebrates with Max Cobb after winning the gold in the 20 k individual at the 2017 IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria.. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Cobb, who lives with his family in Maine, likens USBA to a humming, quick-to-evolve startup. What that means is USBA can nimbly recruit and identify talent as well as shepherd along veterans like 2017 IBU World Championships medalists Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee.

Cobb’s budget is the mighty mouse of the biathlon world, and on many days, the high-performance team (both coaches and athletes) can slay the Goliaths of the sport. It’s a testament to Cobb’s leadership and his ability to hire and retain gurus like German native Bernd Eisenbichler, US Biathlon’s chief of sport.

A 2016 photo of Max Cobb, the president and CEO of U.S. Biathlon. (Photo: Nordic Focus)

Cobb, who spoke with us on Sept. 8, is also a leader when it comes to anti-doping — He’s unafraid to comment on systemic failings and he’s unabashed in calling for reforms.

Raking leaves? Scraping off the storage wax? Then it’s a great time to hear Cobb out.

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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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