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Team USA Gears Up for Youth Olympic Games in Korea

by Sara Donatello

Team USA departs today to make the trip halfway around the world to Gangwon, Republic of Korea to compete in the 2024 Youth Olympic Games, the first to be held in Asia. The six athletes selected to represent Team USA on the biggest stage in youth sports are looking ahead to their races, beginning on January 20 with the women’s 10km individual followed by the men’s 12.5km individual.  


“The Youth Olympic Games will be a fantastic opportunity for our athletes to experience biathlon at the highest level,” said U.S. Biathlon Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke.The fact that the Youth Olympic Games includes athletes from all over the world and different disciplines gives this event a unique feel.I'm confident our athletes will leave Korea having learned something and motivated for the next steps in their biathlon careers.” 


Team Soldier Hollow athlete, Emily Campbell, is from Park City, UT. She began biathlon at age 11 and most recently raced at the 2023 Youth World Championships in Schuchinsk, Kazakhstan, where she placed 64th in the individual and 70th in the sprint. At age 17, Campbell will race at both the 2024 Youth Olympic Games and the 2024 Youth World Championships. 


Molly Maybach, from Boise, ID, began biathlon in 2013 at the age of 11 and currently races for SVSEF. She competed alongside Campbell in the 2023 Youth World Championships finishing 54th in the individual, 47th in the sprint and 53rd in the pursuit. Maybach will take her biathlon career a step further as a member of the 2024 Youth Olympic Games US Biathlon Team. 


From Lincoln, MA, Alexandria “Alex” Taylor currently races for HSC Massachusetts Biathlon. Taylor began doing biathlon at age 15 and just one year later, now 16, she is the youngest of the three women on the team and will race in her first major international competition in Korea after finishing youth trials in first place. Taylor will also join Campbell at the 2024 Youth World Championships in late February. 


“It's still very surreal to be able to represent Team USA and ski in stars and stripes,” said Taylor. “To have the opportunity to travel internationally and race against athletes from all over the world keeps hitting me, and probably won’t stop until I cross the start line. I’m really excited to be able to train with and learn from the other American biathletes and coaches, and I’m going to give it everything I can to make them proud.”   


Elias Soule, from Anchorage, AK, is one of two men on the team racing for Anchorage Biathlon Club. He began biathlon in 2017 at the age of 10. Soule was also a member of the 2023 Youth World Championships team, finishing 69th in the individual, 59th in the sprint and 56th in the pursuit in Kazakhstan. Alongside Campbell and Taylor, Soule will race at the 2024 Youth Olympic Games as well as the 2024 Youth World Championships in Estonia. 


“Representing your country on the biggest stage is a feeling that can only be described as surreal.” said Soule. “I am beyond excited to showcase my best and try to bring home some hardware!”


Noa Kam-Magruder, fellow Anchorage, AK native and Anchorage Biathlon Club teammate, now 16, began biathlon in 2021 at age 14. 2024 is a year of milestones for Kam-Magruder as the Youth Olympic Games is his first international racing experience. He will be able to take what he learns in Korea to Estonia just one month later to compete for Team USA at the 2024 Youth World Championships. 


John Lohuis, an Anchorage, AK native as well, currently races for Biathlon Alaska. Lohuis was first introduced to biathlon in 2017 when he had his first experience shooting a biathlon rifle at the West Yellowstone Nordic Festival. The following year, at age 10, he took up biathlon as a sport. Like his teammates Kam-Magruder and Taylor, Lohuis will be racing internationally for the first time this year at both the 2024 Youth Olympic Games and 2024 Youth World Championships. 


Over the course of four days, athletes will race in an individual, single mixed relay, sprint and mixed relay against the best youth biathletes in the world. For information regarding insider access to the Youth Olympic Games, including live streams, click HERE. Click HERE to view the official 2024 Youth Olympic Games biathlon page. For spectator resources and information on U.S. Biathlon, visit usbiathlon.org.

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