by Tom Kelly

New Gloucester, ME.- U.S. Biathlon has taken yet another step to fortify its athletic position for the future, naming Olympian John Farra to the newly-created position, director of sport development. Farra, an NCAA cross country skiing All-American with the University of Utah and a 1992 Olympian, has built a highly-successful career in sport development across multiple Olympic and Paralympic sports organizations.

Farra’s new role will focus on talent identification among junior and collegiate cross country skiers and providing a pathway to transfer that talent into biathlon. He will also head a new U.S. Biathlon initiative to identify and develop two dozen or more new local and regional club programs across the country, and to develop a national coaches education program. He will work closely with High Performance Director Lowell Bailey and Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke.

“John will bring vital experience to our U.S. Biathlon athlete development program,” said President and CEO Max Cobb. “Having his talent identification background will greatly enhance the transition of promising athletes into the development programs Lowell and Tim have put in place. But where we foresee the biggest long-term impact is to be able to broaden the number of local biathlon clubs across America while enhancing coaching and programs in our existing clubs.”

The U.S. Biathlon club initiative is a strategic direction to bring the excitement of biathlon to youth across America. Farra will pioneer the growth of new programs while working with all clubs around the country to raise the level of sport education.

Since retiring as an athlete, Farra has built a highly successful career in sport performance, starting as a coach for the University of Utah and helping lead the Utes to an NCAA skiing title. He served as nordic director for U.S. Ski & Snowboard where his athletes won four Olympic and six World Championship medals. As nordic skiing high performance director for U.S. Paralympics, his athletes won 19 medals. He most recently served as high performance general manager  for USA Triathlon where his Olympic and Paralympic teams led the medals count for the sport in Tokyo.

“I have been a passionate biathlon fan, coach and official for many years,” said Farra. “I am fired up to contribute my experience to further establish talent identification, talent transfer, as well as club and high performance development programs that will have a lasting impact on the sport. This is coming back to my nordic roots.”

A product of the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, N.Y., early in his career Farra played a similar role developing club programs while working with the Maine Winter Sports Center.

Farra will base out of his home in Heber City, Utah, not far from the Soldier Hollow biathlon venue. He lives there with his wife, Tess, and two daughters, Lina and Hanna. Lina is a biathlon athlete competing on the IBU Cup while Hanna is attending the University of Utah.

He will begin his new role Oct. 1.


John Farra

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