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 Garrett Beckrich, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, who is representing the United States at his first World Youth Championships.
Today in Otepää, Beckrich finished 48th in the youth men’s 12.5 k individual, +6:03.9 with five penalties.
“My full name is Garrett Beckrich but you can call me Garrett.
I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN and I learned to ski at Mt. Itasca Nordic Ski Center with Petra Cervenka.
I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds racing in Czechia and Slovenia in the Junior Cup and Open Euro Championships respectively. I also raced in Minnesota High School races.
The most brutal workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was a 100 mile bike ride with the Midwest team and Vlad.
One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is to learn how to calm myself during shooting, because this is my first year in biathlon. I picked up shooting very quickly since I have been doing that since I was young. I have a hard time mentally switching between aggressive skiing and calm and relaxed shooting.
This is my first time in Estonia and second time racing internationally, and so far it’s been a great experience. The coaches are very knowledgeable and have everything well organized.
One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the United States is that skiing is very popular here. The Otepää stadium has lots of room for spectators.
One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is the youth relay. We have a good chance in placing well in that event if we all are feeling well.
One race I’m especially targeting there is the sprint. I want to make my first international pursuit race after missing out on that at the Open European Championships.
Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was very inspiring. Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall winning the team sprint showed that the US can compete with other teams on cross country skis instead of downhill.
I want to be like Jessie Diggins, because we are both Minnesotans and state champions.
At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Brazil and ask them how they train for biathlon when they don’t have any snow.
My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is the cucumber lemonade. It tasted weird at first but after awhile you learn to dig the taste.
Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been where my grandma’s family originated from. They came to the US from Latvia and that is just south of us.
Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be how similar it is to northern MN. There are lots of pine trees and it’s very cold.
If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it going across the border to Latvia to say I had been there.
The best way to follow me on social media is Instagram @grbeckrich.”