Biathlon Club exceeds Olympic goals
This is a pinnacle year for the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club, which for several years has been building world-class infrastructure near Raven Lodge at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
Coach Joe Bajan said he had an “aha” moment while volunteering for the Olympic Torch Run in Nanaimo in November. He watched the torch go by in a couple of different places and afterward “it just hit me. This is actually going to happen. All of us have been working for so many years on this thing, and you realize it’s actually going to happen.
“If you had participated in some of our early meetings that summer that VANOC got the Olympic bid…you would have said ‘good luck’. Actually, we’re exceeding (our goals).”
It hasn’t been easy, he acknowledged. “The key thing is the vision was there. We knew the path we had to follow and we’re achieving it.”
Bajan expects the profile of the sport of biathlon to rise in B.C. following exposure at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler. It will also rise on Mount Washington, especially after a special event that he hopes will fly on Feb. 6, 2010.
On that day, the B.C. Cadet Provincial Championships are scheduled at the Biathlon Range on Mount Washington. Bajan is crossing his fingers that in the morning, a race between Olympic athletes and Strathcona Nordic biathletes can be arranged.
“People can come up and watch some of the world’s best compete,” he said.