20-for-20 with Leo Grandbois

FasterSkierMarch 2, 2018
Leo Grandbois (second from l) with his support crew, including wax techs Andrew Chisholm (l) and Andrzej Lesnik (second from r) and Canada’s head coach Jacqueline Akerman (r), after Grandbois won gold last season in the 12.5 k individual, the first race of his first IBU Youth World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. (Photo: Airat Aitniakov)

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 18-year-old Leo Grandbois, who is representing Canada at his second World Youth Championships. Last year in Osrblie, Slovakia, Grandbois won the 12.5 k individual at 2017 Youth Worlds.

On Friday in Otepää, he placed 33rd in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint (+2:33.4 with three penalties). He also notched 24th in the 12.5 k individual on Monday and 16th with the youth men’s 3 x 7.5 k relay on Wednesday. 


“My full name is Leo Grandbois but you can call me The Terrible.

I was born in Munich, Germany, and raised in Lennoxville, Canada, and I learned to ski at 6.

I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds at my home doing my preparation for Worlds.

Canada’s Leo Grandbois (Biathlon Estrie) racing to gold in the 2017 IBU Youth World Championships 12.5 k individual race in Brezno-Osrblie, Slovakia. He hit all of his targets for the first time in a race to win by nearly a minute and 15 seconds. (Photo: IBU)

The hardest workout I did in the last training year to prepare for this was 6 times 6 minutes zone 4 in ski bounding with 2 minutes zone 1 between the intervals with Zach and Frank, my training partners back home.

One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is shooting time.

This is my first time in Estonia and third time racing internationally, and so far I’ve been Youth World Champion last year in Slovakia in the 12.5 k individual.

One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the Canada is the air humidity.

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 individual.

Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was good for my own preparation. One of my least favourite moments of the Games was when Alex Harvey came 4th in the 50k, at 3 second from a medal. I want to be like Klaebo because he is dominant and relaxed.

At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with someone from Norway (a girl) and ask them their number.

My favorite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is the oatmeal.

Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been Finland’s neighbours.

Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be the steep hill in the race loop.

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

The best way to follow me on social media is on Facebook @Leo Grandbois and Instagram leo_grandbois.”


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