Biathlete of the Year
With the 2018/2019 season officially in the rearview, FasterSkier is running a series of articles highlighting some of the players and performances from the season. This honor goes to the outstanding North American biathlete on the international circuit.
About ten seconds into the IBU TV interview with U.S. biathlete Clare Egan that follows, her first statement regarding her then career-best World Cup Result – a sixth place in Pokljuka, Slovenia’s 10-kilometer pursuit – she unabashedly reveals the raw and simple joy of realizing the payoff for her hard work.
“I really worked hard for this, and I am psyched,” Egan emphatically declared. Watching the interview, it’s hard not to be drawn right into her emotional high.
At thirty-one-years-old, Egan is realizing the goods after fastidiously developing her biathlon specific skills since picking up the sport after college in 2013. This season she was the 18th ranked biathlete in the IBU World Cup overall standings. In the sprint overall which included nine races total, she was ranked 14th overall. Ratchet up a few spots to 11th overall in the pursuit standings and Egan clearly had more reasons than her early season sixth place in Pokljuka to remain positive.
With results littered with numerous top-20’s, Egan’s season-long stats reveal her ski speed was an asset.
“I am frankly amazed with my skiing,” Egan wrote in an email to FasterSkier after her sixth place in Slovenia. “I knew I was in great shape, but this week my ski times were 11, 6 and today 1st.”
Egan never slowed down.
Along with her skiing, Egan improved her shooting accuracy too. Overall, she shot with 81 percent accuracy this season compared to 74 percent in 2018. Specifically, in standing, Egan bumped from 64 percent accuracy in 2018 to 76 percent accuracy by the close of this season.
Egan saved her best for last. In the season’s final race, a mass start in Oslo, she earned her first career World Cup podium with a third place. She missed a single shot, and that went down during her fourth shooting bout, to finish 10.4 seconds out of first.
All season long, her presence on the ski loop and shooting range spoke to the depth of the U.S. women’s team and the possibilities for more to come.