On Thanksgiving, it’s worth celebrating a breakthrough moment. When wins and podiums become quotidian, perhaps the luster wears over time. Sports fans love the breakthrough — the moment it first comes together for an athlete. In biathlon, the moving parts are many. The fitness, the pacing, the skis, the steady mental state on the range, the breathing, the shooting, the wind flags, and the targets falling — they all must align.
Kelsey Dickinson, 26, of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project and a U.S. Biathlon Team member had one of those performances. In Sjusjøen, Norway today the breakthrough came for Dickinson with a second place in the first IBU Cup race of the season: a 7.5-kilometer sprint. The IBU Cup ranks just below the World Cup for international caliber biathlon races.
Her second place was 6.6 seconds back from the winning time posted by Norway’s Karoline Erdal who won in 26:21.4. This was Dickinson’s best IBU Cup result to date. She missed two targets, both in standing.