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 Thomas Hulsman, who represented Canada at his second World Youth Championships.
Over the last week, Hulsman placed 35th in the youth men’s 7.5 k sprint, 45th in the 10 k pursuit, 65th in the 12.5 k individual, and 16th in the 3 x 7.5 k relay.
“My full name is Thomas Gary Hulsman but you can call me Thomas.
I was born Calgary and raised in Airdire and I learned to ski at Foothills Nordic around the age of 12.
I spent the time between World Youth/Junior trials and Worlds on the Junior IBU tour and then in Norway for some training time.
My hardest workouts I did in the last training year to prepare for this was uphill intensity where we did a pyramid. That means we ran up, then back down, then ran a little bit further up, then back down, up then down, and up to the top.
One thing I’m working on this season to improve my biathlon is my sking.
This is my first time in Estonia and second time racing internationally, and so far it’s been a blast.
One difference I’ve noticed between Estonia and the Canada is the food.
One of the things I’m most excited about for World Youth/Junior Championships in Otepää is seeing the country.
One race I’m particularly targeting is the sprint, because it is the race I need to place in the top 60 to do the pursuit.
Watching the Olympics in the leadup to my own races was inspirational. One of my favourite moments of the Games was watching the races with the boys in my room. I want to be like Martin Fourcade because he is so consistent.
At Worlds, I really hope I can chat/make friends with as many people as possible.
My favourite thing at the breakfast where we are staying is all of the fruit and the omelettes.
Before this trip, if you said “Estonia”, the first thing I’d think of would have been “Where is that?”
Now that I’m here, I’m pretty sure something I’ll always remember will be how there is skiing everywhere.
If I had a totally free day here and didn’t have to worry about race fitness or training, I’d spend it seeing the country, probably in the capital and shopping for stuff.