HomeTag Max Cobb

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Susan Dunklee had been looking forward to racing at a home World Cup for the better part of the last five years, and then some. She found her "happy" place on Thursday to achieve a historic career-best: second place in the women's IBU World Cup sprint. "In order to have my best performances in biathlon or anything in life … I really have to find what I love about it,” she said.

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U.S. Biathlon's Max Cobb also chaired the IBU Technical Committee for the past several years - and he just passed rule changes at the IBU Congress that include a system-wide qualification points system and added Wild Card entries to major events. "People voted in favor of a more fair, open, and sporting system – I was really gratified," Cobb said.

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This spring, nordic organizations across the U.S. and Canada were hit hard by cuts from their Olympic funding partners. U.S. Biathlon Association President Max Cobb says his group wasn't one of them: USBA didn't get its full request, but it got enough. "It's a relief," he said. USBA also has the added benefit of a foundation to help with additional fundraising.

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The International Biathlon Union's Executive board voted last month to discontinue its blood testing at the Olympic Games, meaning that the Athlete Biological Passport program will no longer be implemented there. The decision was taken without consulting the organization's Medical Committee, and the IBU has not offered an explanation to its members.

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U.S. Biathlon CEO Max Cobb says that it took four or five years for his organization to get on its feet after splitting from modern pentathlon in 1980 -- but that whatever route U.S. Nordic Combined takes, the good news for them is that they have proven success and that direct fundraising tools have entered a whole new realm in the past few years.

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The U.S. Biathlon Association is focusing resources on the future: for the first time in years, there's a development team, a recruitment camp, coaches seminars and regional development efforts. Plus, High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler is now the Chief of Sport, and will also oversee development - that's "why I’m staying with U.S. biathlon," he said.

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After athlete complaints at last year's World Cup, Sochi organizers removed a particularly dangerous downhill from the biathlon course. But with warm conditions and deep, rutted snow, the rest of the course became treacherous today, with at least four major crashes between the 59 racers. Freezing nights are not predicted until next week, suggesting that the cross country ski courses, too, may be in for some ugly conditions.

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Canada's Rosanna Crawford says that some features of the Sochi course have stayed the same since the World Cup visited last year: the big climbs, the shooting range with an easy approach and huge retaining walls which cut the wind. But as Max Cobb explains, some changes have been made to the courses as well based in part on Organizing Committee layout errors.

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Some of Irina Starykh's competitors are defending her, saying the investigation is not yet complete; administrators and coaches from Scandinavia wonder how stupid you'd have to be to try doping in the leadup to the Olympics; a former IOC medical director believes Starykh's coach and team doctor are the last vestiges of the old Soviet doping system, and hopes they will be weeded out.