Smithers’ very own Angus Tweedie will take on the world at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth and Junior Biathlon World Championships.
Tweedie will be racing for Canada’s junior national team. The championships will take place Feb. 26 to March 4 in Otepaa, Estonia.
“I was really happy [when I made it] because the goal for the season was to make worlds but it still hasn’t really sunk in,” said Tweedie. “I think it will once I leave.”
Tweedie will also race in the Junior IBU Cup and the Junior Open European championship. He arrived in Europe Sunday night local time.
Tweedie will compete in the sprint, individual, pursuit and relay.
The Smithers star got a taste for European racing for the first time last year but didn’t get the results he was expecting. After a year of review and training Tweedie says he’s more mentally prepared for the obstacles he will face.
“Anyone that’s been at the back [of a race] will know it kind of sucks and you don’t want to be there again,” said Tweedie. “You learn a few lessons from that experience so you won’t be there again.”
Since he’s an athlete on the junior team, Tweedie will have to pay his own way to Europe. He works as a ski coach for the Whistler Olympic Park doing school programs, public and private lessons and the local cross-country ski club in Whistler.
Tweedie works 20 hours a week at both jobs while training six days a week at Whistler Nordic Development Centre. Tweedie says he will need to fundraise $6,500 to cover the cost of his trip. Supporters can contribute at makeachamp.com/angustweediebiathlete/.
Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre biathlon coach Peter Tweedie is proud of his son for not only accomplishing his goals but for becoming a role model for young biathlon athletes in the North.
“It also makes kids see the potential of where they could go because they know he was one of them at one time,” said Peter. “I think just having an athlete from a small town in northern B.C. going to something like that shows the other athletes that are in the sport that there’s hope for them [if] they keep it up and work hard.”
Angus Tweedie doesn’t view himself as a role model but thinks he’s simply a product of his environment.
“I was lucky, I had a lot of good coaches right from them moment I got on skis,” said Tweedie. “I’m hoping more people realize you can do a lot from a club level. All the racing starts at the club level.”