Fort Kent Outdoor Center to Host 2024 US Biathlon National Championships

by Sara Donatello

New Gloucester, Maine – The United States Biathlon Association announced that the Fort Kent Outdoor Center will host the 2024 US Biathlon National Championships, March 21-24, 2024.

Fort Kent Outdoor Center’s biathlon facility began as the Maine Winter Sports Center in 1998. The current facility, which is one of only four IBU licensed venues in the US, includes a 30 point biathlon range, 3km roller loop and a 32 wax room building. With some of the best snow coverage in the east, Fort Kent gets an abundance of natural snow from late November to late April, the perfect conditions to host the 2024 US National Championships.

"We are very excited to be heading back to Fort Kent for US Nationals next year,” said Lowell Bailey, US Biathlon Director of High Performance. “Fort Kent is a great community with a deep history of hosting world-class events, from regional club events to the IBU World Cup and everything in between. It is sure to be a fantastic event and, with any luck, the Northern Maine climate will give athletes the chance to race on natural snow in late March!"

Fort Kent Outdoor Center is the training site for 10 past Olympic biathletes and the hometown to eight past World Junior/Youth Championship biathletes.

"I look forward to returning to Fort Kent for Nationals in 2024,” said Tim Burke, US Biathlon Director of Athlete Development. “Fort Kent's stellar group of organizers/volunteers always do a fantastic job putting on events. We look forward to working with them to put on an inspiring Nationals for our athletes next March!”

The venue has a long history of hosting biathlon events, namely 2004 and 2011 IBU World Cups. Many past US and North American Biathlon Championships, as well as several USSA Super Tour events, NENSA Championships and Maine State High School Championships have also been held at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center.

“We love hosting US Nationals in Fort Kent! The last time we hosted US Nationals at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center was 2016. It’s always great to get the entire US Biathlon community together from our youngest athletes to our oldest Masters, and the IBU class athletes all skiing on the same course and shooting at the same range,” said Carl Theriault, Fort Kent Biathlon Coach and Club Leader. “It’s important for our young athletes to see the World Cup athletes ski and shoot on the same courses and think "I could be like them someday". As the season comes to a close every March, the vibe at Nationals is just as much festival as competition, and we are excited to play host in 2024.”