This week’s interviewee is another young American biathlete Brian Halligan from Saratoga Springs. The 19 year old currently lives in Fort Kent, Maine. He has already taken part in two Youth/Junior World Championships in Obertilliach and Presque Isle.
Follow Brian on Twitter: @bhbiathlon
Take a look at his blog: http://brianhalliganbiathlon.blogspot.co.uk
Americans play baseball, basketball, hockey, football and want to be WWE Wrestlers! Explain yourself! How did you become a biathlete?
My father was a National Guard biathlete so I grew up around the sport. I was never pushed to do it but I fell in love with it at an early age. My childhood winters were filled with skiing and biathlon so it was just natural for me to do biathlon.
How do you balance training and competing with your education and social life? Are there things you would like to do but can’t because of training?
I will admit that training and racing has kept me from some social outings with friends but they understand that this is something I love to do. Plus they all tell me they are jealous of me because I get to go to Europe. As for education I decided to put university off for a few years to see how far I could get with biathlon.
Will you be competing in Raubichi in the World Youth/Junior Championships? What is the selection criteria for your country?
I have not qualified for Raubichi yet. Qualification for the US is at the end of December. It is a best 2 of 3 race series in Anchorage, Alaska. The top junior athletes within 98% of the leader qualify for the Championships.
(This interview was done before the trials which were eventually held in Mount Itasca, Minnesota and good news Brian qualified not only for Raubichi but also the Open European Championships in Estonia!)
Do you receive any funding? If not how do you pay for equipment, travel etc?
Right now I do not receive any funding. Travel and equipment is paid for by my parents and I.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a biathlete?
I really hate explaining biathlon to people. Nobody in the US knows what it is so they always ask about it. When graduating high school I got so tired of explaining to people I was joining a biathlon team instead of going to university, I started telling people I was just going to University in Maine. The best part of biathlon for me is the racing. I love to race, even during training. My teammates always tell me to slow down because I am going too hard but I love to race.
If you could steal one characteristic from another biathlete, what would it be, who from and why?
I wish I could steal the Bo brothers speed and accuracy on the range. It is always fun to see them come in and shoot clean in 19 or 18 seconds.
What would you like to change about biathlon? (the rules, equipment, schedule etc).
It would be cool if there was a Jr. World Cup. It doesn’t have to be all season, but 2 or 3 stops would be fun and something to look forward to while training in the summer, not just YJWC.
Who is your role model? (in biathlon or in general)
I don’t think I have one role model. I have received so much help and guidance from so many athletes past and present. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In my case it took the biathlon community to raise me.
What’s your typical day like?
My typical day: I wake up at 7:00 and eat breakfast. Then I go to training at 8 or 8:30. Training ends around 11 so I usually eat either second breakfast or first lunch. A little later around 1:30 I’ll eat a bigger lunch. Next, depending on how I’m feeling I’ll nap, do homework, or watch a biathlon race from last year’s world cup. At about 3 I will dry-fire and get ready for afternoon training. Training will end at about 6, then it’s time for dinner, then bed at 10. Some days I have to skip afternoon training because I work in the Deli at the grocery store in Fort Kent.
You are lucky enough to have people like Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey in your team. Do they give you help and advice or are they mean and just ignore you?;-)
I have seen Tim and Lowell as role models my whole life, even though I just met them this year. They haven’t given me advice of any kind but just being able to practice with them and hang out with them from time to time is really cool and inspirational.
Does your rifle have a name?
Haha, no. But when I shoot well I sometimes talk to my rifle.
Describe yourself in three words.
Fun, Focused, Happy
Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon track: Nove Mesto, CZE
Favourite biathlete (past or present): Russell Currier (I live with him in Fort Kent)
Favourite event (sprint, pursuit etc): Mass Start
Favourite/best race of your career so far? YJWC, 2014 in Presque Isle. In the Individual I was 18th
Favourite food: Pineapple and Ham Pizza
Favourite singer/band: Twenty One Pilots
Favourite film: Miracle on Ice
Favourite sports team: New York Yankees
Favourite TV show: The Walking Dead.
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