Tag Archives: Martell

Hallie Grossman: The Interview!

Photo courtesy of Hallie Grossman.

Hallie Grossman is an American biathlete. She was born in Vermont on the 27th of April 1993. She has been doing biathlon since 2016 after initially competing as a skier for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. Last season she made her debut on the World Cup in Oberhof and raced in Ruhpolding. She also got some good results on the IBU Cup at the end of the season in Minsk with two Top 30 finishes.

Follow Hallie on Instagram: halliegeee
Check out her website: https://halliegrossmanblog.wordpress.com/

Why did you become a biathlete?

After graduating college, I joined the Craftsbury Green Racing Project as a skier. During my first summer on the team, I injured my knee and couldn’t do very much training. During this time, some of the biathlon boys on the team taught me how to shoot and I enjoyed the challenge. It took about a year to really get into it, but I’m so glad that I did.

You got your first taste of the World Cup last season. What was that experience like?

It was an awesome experience! My first weekend on the World Cup was in Oberhof in the pouring rain but I arguably had the biggest smile on my face and was the happiest person at the venue all weekend. Our relay team was made up all of women from the same club in Craftsbury, which was fun and something our ski coach at home was really excited about. On the IBU Cup, my teammates and I started wearing glitter for most of the races, and happily sharing it with anyone and everyone. It was a great bonding experience and way to get to know our competitors (who quickly turn into friends!). I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear it in the “big leagues,” but was so happy I decided to and it reminded me that racing really is quite fun.

What was your best or favourite race from last season and why?

There are several, for different reasons. My favorite race was the opening sprint in Sjusjoen, where my teammate Kelsey Dickinson was 2nd. It was so awesome to see one of my closest friends do so well. One of my best races was in Minsk at the very end of the year. I had been struggling with my shooting for a few weeks, but things came together and I shot 1,0 in the sprint and was ecstatic.

What are your plans for summer training? Has the corona virus affected the plans or the way you train?

I have been home in Craftsbury since March and it’s been great! It definitely is a bummer to not be able to have camps or see our National team coaches except through a computer screen, but I feel fortunate that I have such great training partners and opportunities at home.

What are your goals for this season?

To do my part in this pandemic (wearing my mask!) to help the world get to a point where we can gather and race again!

You are away from home for long periods of time. Do you pack anything special in your suitcase when you travel to Europe?

My aeropress coffee maker, my knitting, and my mini sewing kit. You never know what the coffee situation will be in any given country or hotel. Knitting provides endless hours of activity, especially when you get as distracted as myself and pull it out many, many times. And the sewing kit comes in handy because it turns out clothing and equipment can rip when it’s worn nearly everyday for several months straight.

You are having a dinner party with 3 other biathletes. Who would you invite and why? What’s on the menu?

(I changed it to 4 🙂 ) Johanna Taliharm, because she’s been training in Craftsbury with us for the last few summers and has become an integral honorary member of our team. Kaisa Makarainen, she joined us for a camp last year in France and it was great to get to know her a bit. Her incredible ski speed has made me a fan of hers since I started doing biathlon. Mona Brorsson. In Oberhof, she reminded me to have fun and enjoy it right before the relay. It was such a kind gesture and it makes me want to get to know her better! Flurina Volken. Flurina and I met two years ago when we started near the very end of the race together, since then I’ve spend several weeks living with her and her family in Switzerland and she has become a great friend. The menu! Depends where we are dining. If we’re at my home, we’ll have salad, tacos, and one Emily Dreissigacker’s cake for dessert.

What are your hobbies away from biathlon?

I love to teach kids. When I’m home (prepandemic) I spend time in a local elementary school, working with kids on math or reading, or whatever they may need a little extra attention with. This summer, I’ve been tutoring a 9 year old girl and we’ve been reading books, doing math, and just playing outside and riding our bikes.

Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?

Martell. This is where I did my first IBU Cup in 2017 and this past year where I had my fastest ski times. I like it because there are some tough uphills and the downhills appeared tricky but I was able to practice them enough that they seemed ok!

Does your rifle have a name?

My rifle doesn’t but my stock does. Her name is Maisey. My first stock was Posey.

Describe yourself in three words.

Smiley, caring, energetic.

Quick fire choices:

prone or standing? prone
against the clock or head to head racing? head to head
uphill or downhill? uphill
mixed relay or women’s relay? This one is tricky! I’ve done one women’s relay on the WC and several mixed relays on the IBU cup and both are special in their own ways!
morning or night? morning
sun or snow? sun
roller skiing or cycling? cycling
alcohol or chocolate? chocolate

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Nils-Erik Ulset: The Interview!

Photo Credit: Biathlon23!!!

Nils-Erik Ulset is para-biathlon legend! The 36-year-old Norwegian has competed in 5 Paralympic Games from Salt Lake City 2002 to PyeongChang 2018. He has won biathlon medals at four of those Games including gold in Vancouver in 2010. He has 10 World Championship medals three of which are gold. He was born with a genetic condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease that affects the muscle strength in his legs. He has also been a World and Paralympic Champion in cross-country skiing.

Follow Nils-Erik on Instagram!

Why did you become a biathlete?

I have an older brother who started biathlon, and of course since he was a role model for me I had to follow in his steps.
(His brother is John Ola Ulset who represented Norway at IBU World Cup level.)

How did you assess last season? What were you happy with and what disappointed you?

Last season was a little up and down. The good races were very good winning world cup races, taking a medal in the world championship and finishing second in the overall cup. But my main goal was the world championship sprint and being so far from the podium in this race was a disappointment.

The first World Cup this season is in Lillehammer! Are you excited about that? Do you know the course there well?

It will be awesome starting the World Cup in Lillehammer. I know the area well since I lived for 7 years in Lillehammer, but I think we are going to use the FIS world cup tracks which I haven’t tested out yet. But I know they will be tough!

Are you focusing only on biathlon now? Will you do any cross country races this season?

Yes, I’m only focusing on biathlon now. I’ll never do cross country World Cup races again.

How does your impairment affect your skiing?

I have maybe 25% of normal muscle strength in my lower legs and my balance is very bad. So for me the hardest parts are flat areas where you benefit from having good balance. Also very soft(spring) conditions and icy tracks is some thing that I can struggle with.

What have you been doing for summer training? Are training with any of the IBU biathletes this summer?

This summer I have been focusing much more on strength training, a lot of roller skiing and some trail running.
I’m doing all my training camps with the Norwegian development (B-team), this is something that really suits me and helps me a lot in pushing forward.

When Norwegian biathletes retire they seem to become your coach! Lars Berger then Martin Eng. Who will coach you this season – L’Abbe Lund, Svendsen or Bjoerndalen?!!! Seriously though what is it like having ex-biathletes as your coach? How have they helped you?

Well actually Lars Berger is back again as my coach and in previous seasons, especially towards PyeongChang I got a lot of help and advice from Ole Einar. It’s great to have the possibility to ask these athletes for advice and to learn from them.

What are your goals for this season?

The main goal this season is the biathlon World Championships in Østersund.

Do you have a job? If so how do you fit your training around it?

I work part time in a sports shop that specializes in mountain sports like ski mountaineering, climbing and trail running.

Do you have a favourite track? Where is it and why?

My all time favourite tracks are Natrudstilen Sjusjøen, Canmore, Whistler Olympic Park and Nordmarka Surnadal. All these tracks really suit me and my strengths, and are located in really nice places.


Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present/IBU or IPC) and why?

Ole Einar Bjørndalen (of course) and Martin Fourcade. They are both amazing athletes who always push themselves forward and are ahead of everybody in their development as athletes. They are fair athletes who also take a clear stand for clean and fair sports.

Does your rifle have a name?

No I’ve never named any of my rifles.

Describe yourself in three words.

Stubborn, curious and childish.


Quick fire Questions:

Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): France
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Lukas Hofer
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Norway
Favourite shooting range: Martell
Lucky bib number: Any
Funniest biathlete on the World Cup: Gregory Vovchinskiy
Nicest biathlete on the World Cup: Mark Arendz and Benjamin Daviet
Best thing about being a biathlete: You get to ski around and shoot.

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