Biathlon, the only Olympic sport in which competitors perform two distinctly different skills - cross country skiing and marksmanship - concurrently, is the topic of Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum's May 16th Red Bench Discussion. To understand biathlon, John Morton, VTSSM Hall of Fame Inductee and former biathlete, suggests: "...take a person that doesn't necessarily have skill in skiing, ask them to run up 10 flights of stairs as fast as they can and ask them to thread a needle when they get there; you get an idea of how challenging it is to be precise when you have stressed yourself to that level."
Interested to know more about biathlon's history and its current status? On Thursday, May 16th at 6:30 pm, Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe, as part of the Red Bench Discussion Series, brings together a panel of biathlon experts to discuss how to train for biathlon and how to develop youth and women participants. Topics will include biathlon's connection to the military and the historical relevance of the Vermont National Guard in Jericho. They will also discuss evolving equipment and growing awareness of biathlon.
'Two Contests; Competing in Biathlon' is part of the Museum's Red Bench Series that focuses on topics currently relevant to skiing and snowboarding and kicks off a new comprehensive exhibit on biathlon which will open in November at the Museum.
The panel includes:
Moderator Art Stegen, when inducted into the US Biathlon Hall of Fame, was described as being "at the epicenter of Biathlon for forty years. As an athlete, coach, team leader, board secretary and editor of the US Biathlon newsletter, Art has dedicated himself to the sport of biathlon and always looked to make a difference." His new book on biathlon will be released spring 2019.
Dennis Donahue competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics and in five World Biathlon Championships. He is a 2018 VTSSM Hall of Fame Inductee.
John Madigan, from the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club in Jericho, is the current US Biathlon Regional coordinator for the East.
John Morton, an athlete on the '72 and '76 Olympic Teams, as a coach of teams in the '80s and as Team Leader for 3 more Olympics.
Jan Reynolds set the world record for high altitude skiing among women when she descended Muztagata in Tibet in 1980. Needing a break from mountaineering, Reynolds joined the 1983-84 US Biathlon team where the team took third place in the World Championships and is a VTSSM Hall of Fame Inductee.
Doors to the museum will open at 6:00 and guests are invited to enjoy the exhibits and socialize. The discussion begins at 6:30. Craft beer provided by Von Trapp Brewing. A $10 entry donation helps support the museum's mission to "Collect, Preserve and Celebrate Vermont's Skiing and Snowboarding Heritage". Additional sponsors include Sisler Builders and Vermont Ski + Ride.