BiathlonInterviewsJuniorsNewsRacing20-for-20 with Rory Gilliland

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 28, 2018
Rory Gilliland of Foothills Nordic racing at Canadian World Youth and Junior Trials in Whistler, British Columbia, earlier this season. (Courtesy photo)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Biathlon Union (FIS) 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 Rory Gilliland of Calgary, who is representing Canada at his first Youth World Championships.

On Monday, Gilliland finished 47th in the 12.5 k individual and was 16th with his team in Wednesday’s 3 x 7.5 k relay.

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“My full name is Rory Gilliland but you can call me Rory.

I was born and raised in Calgary, and I learned to ski at 10 years old.

I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds finishing my first semester at school and training.

The most fun workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was playing battleship on paper targets with teammates.

One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is ski speed.

This is my first time in Estonia and second time racing internationally, and so far it’s been fantastic!

One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the Canada is the lack of mountains that I train a lot in at home. 

Rory Gilliland of Canada hits the range in Obertilliach, Austria, in an IBU Junior Cup sprint earlier this season. (Courtesy photo)
Rory Gilliland of Canada hits the range in Obertilliach, Austria, in an IBU Junior Cup sprint earlier this season. (Courtesy photo)

One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is racing against athletes from around the world of my age.

One race I’m especially targeting there is the individual competition.

Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was fun, because they were much different from watching World Cup races. One of my least favourite moments of the Games was the Canadian men being beaten in the hockey semi-finals! I want to be like Martin Fourcade, because he is a talented but gracious athlete.

At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Norway and ask them how they train and how they like Estonia.

My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is bacon!

Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been potatoes or Ethiopia (oops).

Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be the beautiful frosty mornings.

If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it sledding.

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

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