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by Tom Kelly

Biathlete Sean Doherty is no stranger to success. As a junior, we won 10 medals at the Youth and Junior World Championships. Today, he's a leader on the U.S. Biathlon Team and a role model for the next generation. Doherty talks about his career as one of America's top biathletes and about the sport he loves.

Here’s a snapshot of the Heartbeat interview with Sean Doherty.

How important is your camp at Soldier Hollow?
One of the big things is just it's great pre-season with the altitude here. Coming out for three weeks really gives us a nice physiological benefit as we plan on also the Beijing Games being at a similar elevation. The scenery helps keep the focus fresh. And it's like this camp kind of marks the final push of the dryland training season. So it's a nice kind of capstone event. Come out to Utah, better weather typically than the Northeast, you finish off this training Season, you Get to see some new places and let's say, just a great venue to train in.

What was your pathway into biathlon?
I started out getting more involved in cross country skiing. And then a family friend of ours kind of planted the bug in my ear. He connected me with some events or races. And then I did some clinics and some other events. And then I met Art (Stegen), a member of the board, and then he introduced me to Algis Shalna in Jericho. And from there, I started really pursuing it, really training, in high school, but training pretty seriously for it and kind of making it a goal and then was able to qualify for the Junior World Championships team. And then once I saw competition in Europe, I was all in. This is what I wanted to do. This is great stuff. So that's the short version. The road all the way in. 

So, you joined the National Guard?
Yes, right - joined the Army and became a member of the National Guard Biathlon Team, which is a really cool program, a really unique program that allows us to be supported through the military biathlon team, which is actually a pretty common thing in biathlon. We have a World Military Championships at the end of March, right after the World Cup in Oslo. There's a lot of career benefits after biathlon to joining the army and also the ability to to receive a great level of support independent of the national team. It gives you a much stronger sense of job security that is often hard to find as a high level skier so those were a lot of the factors to go into it. It's been great.

Now that your girlfriend Tara Geraghty-Moats is returning to biathlon, do you talk shop?
We talk racing all the time, that's one of the great things we have in common. We both love to compete. We both love to race and to study the game. You know, there's a lot of similarities between competition in many different events, and it's fun. Now that she's coming back to biathlon, we talk a lot of shooting. I really enjoy it because it's great dialogue and just fun to sit around sometimes and discuss the fine details of the struggle of biathlon.

Sean Doherty USBA

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