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 20-year-old Megan Bankes, who is representing Canada at her second World Junior Championships after also competing at 2015 World Youth Championships. Bankes won gold in the junior women’s individual race at last year’s Championships. This season, she started the winter on the World Cup and contributed to a ninth-place relay effort by the Canadian women in Hochfilzen, Austria. Bankes was the sixth woman on the list for a five-woman Canadian Olympic Team in biathlon.
On Tuesday, Bankes anchored Canada’s junior women’s 3 x 6 k relay team to ninth place.
“My full name is Megan Bankes but you can call me Megan.
I was born and raised in Calgary, AB, and I learned to ski at age 4.
I spent the time before Worlds training in Canmore and Sjusjøen Norway.
My favorite workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was rollerskiing up Highwood Pass, then running Ptarmigan Cirque, almost running into a grizzly on the way down, and having cookies waiting for us at the end with my Biathlon Alberta Training Center teammates .
One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is my shooting consistency.
This is my second time in Estonia and fifth year racing internationally, and so far it’s been kind of chilly.
One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the Canada is their love of kefir.
One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is racing.
One race I’m especially targeting there is the relay.
Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was fantastic. One of my favorite moments of the Games was watching Kikkan and Jessie crush it in the team sprint and also cheering on Canadians in every sport. I want to be like Laura Dahlmeier because she can pull off amazing races when it really counts, and she’s so strong.
At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Sweden and ask them about themselves and their racing.
My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is the tea selection.
Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been memories from my trip here 12 years ago with my family.
Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be the knitting.
If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it wandering around the old city in Tallinn.