Eli Nielsen racing at 2018 IBU Youth World Championships in Otepää, Estonia. (Courtesy photo)

In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this past 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 18-year-old Eli Nielsen, of Washington state, who represented the U.S. at his second Youth World Championships.

In his last race of the week, Nielsen placed 47th in the youth men’s 10 k pursuit. He also finished 42nd in the 7.5 k sprint, 64th in the 12.5 k individual and ninth in the youth men’s 3 x 7.5 k relay.


“My full name is Camren Eli Nielsen but you can call me Caspian.

I was born and raised in Stehekin, Washington, and I learned to ski with the Bob Scouts.

I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds racing biathlon in the Czech Republic and Slovenia and thinking about how I should probably be doing homework.

The funnest workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was pretty much every workout with the Methow Team.

One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is hitting more targets faster.

This is my first time in Estonia and fourth time racing internationally, and so far it’s been absolutely amazing.

One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the United States is it only takes three hours to drive across the entire country.

One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is the relay. It’ll be fun to throw down with the boys in a head to head race.

One race I’m especially targeting there is the sprint. Less shooting is usually a good thing.

Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was exciting. One of my favorite moments of the Games was Kikkan and Jessie’s gold in the team sprint. I want to be more like Erik Bjornsen because he’s such a bro.

At Worlds, I really hope I can make friends with someone from Norway and ask them if I can come live with them.

My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is the cucumber water… jk Garrett’s the only one who can stand that stuff.

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

Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be doing homework… take note teachers.

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

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


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