A local cross-country skier will be competing on the world stage this winter.
Comox high school student Daniel Gilfillan recently qualified to represent Canada at the World Youth Biathlon Championships in Soldier Hill, Utah. He qualified for one of only four spots out of 27 potential Canadian athletes.
Biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle marksmanship skills, including being able to lower their heart rate before making their shot.
The skiers must do extra distance or take a time penalty every time they miss a shot, adding pressure to the sport.
Gilfillan is a member of the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club and trains at Mount Washington. He says being chosen to compete for Canada makes him excited for the competition.
“It is such an honour to be chosen for the team. I am really excited about the upcoming year and my first international race,” said Gilfillan.
His training to get the spot showed dedication to his coach, who says it is time for Gilfillan to compete on the world stage.
“Dan has trained hard for this moment, and it is now time for him to show the world what he can do,” said VIBC coach Glenn Rupertus.
The comments were echoed by VIBC vice-president Jonathan Kerr.
“Daniel’s consistent effort is really paying off and he continues to improve every week. It is a pleasure to work with such a tremendous athlete and person,” said Kerr.
Gilfillan was selected to compete with the Biathlon Canada Under 20 Development Team. The opportunity gave him access to national coaches, physiologists, mental performance consultants, dieticians and strength experts.
The World Youth Biathlon Championships run until March 3.