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 Ryan Elden, who represented Canada at his first World Youth Championships.
Over the last week, Elden placed 49th in the youth men’s 10 k pursuit, 59th in the 7.5 k sprint and 81st in the 12.5 k individual.
“My full name is Ryan Alexander Elden, but I go by Ryan pretty much all the time.
I was born and raised in Quesnel, British Columbia, and I learned to ski at the age of 2.
Between Trials and Youth Worlds I spent my time competing in Europe on the 2nd international Biathlon tour. I competed in races in Nové Mesto, Czech Republic and Pokljuka, Slovenia. After racing I spent the last 2 weeks in France, at my coach Etienne’s hometown, doing our final bit of training before Worlds.
The hardest/most fun workout we did during the summer in Whistler with the Whistler Nordic Training Centre was pulling tires on our roller skis.
The biggest thing I’ve been working on this season is shooting. I’ve been a little inconsistent in the past so I’ve been doing a bit of extra work to improve in that area.
This is my first time in Estonia and my second time racing internationally. My first time were the races I did in Czech Rebublic and Slovenia three weeks ago. It’s been a huge learning experience and a ton of fun.
One difference I’ve noticed between Canada and Estonia are the older buildings. It has a really cool mix of very modern buildings and very old buildings.
At Worlds, I’m really excited to see how I size up against the other biathletes from all around the world.
One race I’m especially targeting is the pursuit because it is the most fun in my opinion.
Watching the Olympics before racing has been really inspiring. My favourite part of watching the Olympics is hearing the stories of the athletes and what they’ve gone through to get to where they are today. I get so excited every time medalists are tearing up with happiness on the podium after finally achieving their dreams. If I had to choose someone, I would like to be like Johannes Thingnes Bø. A great champion and amazing athlete, but also personable and humble.
Here at Worlds I want to meet as many different as I can and learn about the other countries.
My favourite thing at breakfast (not here specifically but also here) is eggs with cheese.
The first thing I thought of before coming here was cold.
Now that I’m here, I don’t think I will ever forget how flat it is. Our course is anything but flat, surprisingly, but the countryside we drove through was very flat. It has beautiful scenery though.
If I had a ton of spare time here I would spend it exploring the larger towns and checking out cool buildings.