BIATHLON Preview: IBU World Cup returns to Canmore, site of the 1988 Winter Games competition

The Canmore Nordic Center, site of the 1988 Winter Games Biathlon events

The Canmore Nordic Center outside of Calgary (CAN) was the site for biathlon at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games and the World Cup returns for the first time since 2016 for six competitions:

07 February: Men’s 20 km and women’s 15 km Individual
09 February: Men’s 4×7.5 km Relay and women’s 4×6 km Relay
10 February: Men’s 15 km Mass start and women’s 12.5 km Mass Start

This is the seventh out of nine stops on the tour, which has been dominated by Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe, winner of 11 out of 15 races this season. He has a 836-554 lead over seven-time defending champion Martin Fourcade of France, with Alexander Loginov (RUS) third with 548.

The women’s situation is more complex, with a fight between Italians Dorothea Wierer (632) and Lisa Vittozzi (598) at the top of the standings. Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roiseland is third at 508.

This will be the second IBU World Cup held in Canmore and appears to be a popular choice. According to the IBU Race Director, Borut Nunar (SLO): “The Canmore OC has done a great job; everything done on time, even early. The stadium and tracks are all ready to go.

“And, of course the athletes are eager. Who would not want to compete in this beautiful place? I think the athletes love coming here. It is a nice atmosphere without so much media and fan pressure; very refreshing for them.” It’s quite cold, but as Nunar noted, “This is a winter sport.”

Look for results here.