Heartbeat Podcast

The World Cup Comes to America

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This weekend American fans will be trackside at Utah’s Olympic and Paralympic venue of Soldier Hollow as the BMW IBU World Cup Biathlon tour comes to the USA for the first time in five years. In anticipation, Heartbeat went behind the scenes at Soldier Hollow to learn more about the event – how it got back to America after five years, what it takes to put it together, and how fans can best take in the action.

The event is organized by the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF) along with U.S. Biathlon. Heartbeat gathered in the media center of the brand-new competition building at Soldier Hollow, overlooking the range, to chat with the experts. Calum Clark, the chief operating officer of UOLF, is a veteran of more than two decades organizing winter and summer events at the Olympic and World Championship level, starting with the 2000 Summer Games at Sydney. Sara Studebaker-Hall is a well-known figure in biathlon, a two-time Olympian, now operations director for U.S. Biathlon and the chief of competition.

Studebaker-Hall retired after the 2014 Olympics, finding a pathway for herself working in biathlon. She earned her international referee’s license in 2019, serving as assistant chief of competition for the World Cup, then moved up to oversee Youth and Junior World Championships three years later. She is also, now, an IBU technical delegate.

The World Cup tour last visited America in 2019 at Soldier Hollow. Then, in 2002, the IBU’s Youth and Junior World Championships came to Utah, a showcase event for upcoming future stars. Looking ahead, Utah also has its eyes on the 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, bringing the ultimate sport stage back to the state.

To get the tour to return, UOLF and U.S. Biathlon worked together with Canada to create a two-weekend finale to the season-long tour that began in Sweden last November. Over the next two weekends, final titles will be decided in events at Soldier Hollow and up north at Canmore, Alberta.

Thousands are expected over the weekend, with racing Friday, Saturday, Sunday (March 8-10) at Soldier Hollow.

Listen in to this episode of Heartbeat to learn more, including whether or not the dinosaur will return. And if you can’t get to Soldier Hollow, you can watch it all live at biathlonworld.com.

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