BiathlonInterviewsJuniorsNewsRacing20-for-20 with Benita Peiffer

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 26, 2018
Benita Peiffer competing this winter. (Courtesy photo)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Biathlon Union (IBU) 2018 Youth and Junior World Championships in Otepää, Estonia, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 17-year-old Benita Peiffer, of Whistler, British Columbia, who is representing Canada at her first World Youth Championships.

Today in Otepää, Peiffer finished 11th in the youth women’s 10 k individual, +1:43.1 with one penalty.

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“My full name is Benita Peiffer but you can call me B.

I was born Vancouver, BC and raised in Whistler BC and I learned to ski at Whistler Olympic Park as well as Lost Lake.

I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds training in Whistler to prepare, and then I came over to Europe early to do some racing in Pokljuka for Biathlon, and then I met up with the BC Ski Team to do some Cross Country Ski races in Zwiesel.

My favourite workouts I did in the last training year to prepare for this were the workouts we did in Sweden, intervals up sand dunes, swamp running, skiing in the Torsby tunnel, participating in roller ski races and doing some roller ski classic heats with a group of athletes on the BC Team and Development Squad as well as a huge group of Swedish athletes.

One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is to stick to my basics of shooting. I often get overwhelmed with everything and forget the basics as well as keeping a positive mindset because a negative attitude will never get me anywhere.

Canada’s Benita Peiffer, who finished 11th in the opening race of World Youth Championships. (Courtesy photo)

This is my first time in Estonia and third time racing internationally, and so far it’s been an amazing experience. The competition over here is definitely much harder than in Canada and has showed me how much harder I have to work if I want to get to the level of some of these athletes. 

One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the Canada is the food. Lots of potatoes and the desserts have been very interesting.

One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is the Sprint race. It is one of my favourite races to compete in. It is a 6km race with two shooting bouts. It is the perfect distance for me and perfect amount of shooting for me. I don’t get too overwhelmed with the amount of shooting and I am able to leave it all out there on the course feeling satisfied with my effort. 

Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was very inspiring. One of my favourite  moments of the Games was watching my cousin, Arnd Peiffer win  gold in the men’s sprint. I want to be like Laura Dahlmeier because she is a very consistent athlete who won several medals at the PyeongChang Olympics. 

At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from the German team and ask them where they train in Germany because I am very interested in coming to Germany at some point to train and compete.

My favourite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is the fresh bread.

Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been “Where?”

Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be the beautiful scenery and weather here. We have been lucky to have many beautiful sunny training days. 

If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it doing a relaxed ski through the countryside followed by a walk through the town exploring what Otepää has to offer.

The best way to follow me on social media is on Instagram @benitapeiffer.

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