At the 2017 IBU World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, Bailey became the first American in history to win a biathlon world championship, taking the gold medal in the men's 20-kilometer individual. He was also the first athlete to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. Lowell’s wife Erika and Ophelia joined him for much of the World Cup this season and were cheering for him on the course as he skied to gold.
Before starting a family, Bailey's two passions in life are biathlon and music. He has a travel guitar that he brings on the road with him during biathlon competitions and training camps. He even played at his team manager's wedding. He also plays mandolin and was in two local bluegrass bands in the Lake Placid area, Swimming With Champy and Big Slyde (www.bigslyde.com). He writes and performs his own songs as a singer-songwriter solo act as well.
Bailey has competed in three Olympic Winter Games, three Junior World Championships, and 11 World Championships. In 2003, Lowell raced in his first Senior World Championships. That year, Bailey competed for the US Biathlon Team as well as the UVM Catamount NCAA Nordic Ski Team. In 2004, after more than ten years in biathlon, Bailey realized he could not maintain an elite level in both biathlon and Nordic racing. Forfeiting his US Biathlon National Team spot, he skied for the Catamounts for another two years while finishing his undergraduate degree. While attending UVM, he placed 2nd in two successive NCAA Championships ('03,'04) and was a three-time NCAA Academic All-American.
He returned to biathlon in 2005, training in Fort Kent, Maine with the Maine Winter Sports Center. From there he qualified for his first Olympic team in 2006. Bailey went on to compete in every World Cup competition season following the Torino Games until present, including the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014. He had a breakout season as a 30-year-old during the winter of 2011-12 in which he had two World Cup top-five performances and finished with a world ranking of 14th on the season.
Bailey earned the best Olympic finish ever by an American when he finished 8th at the Olympic Winter Games in 2014, missing a medal due to one missed shot. Several weeks later he earned his first World Cup podium with a 3rd place finish that was later up-graded to second place after an anti-doping rule violation disqualified the second place finisher.
Lowell Bailey is highly respected by his peers from around the world who appreciate his musical talents and his leadership on athlete issues. At the 2014 Olympic Games Bailey was elected to the International Biathlon Union’s Athletes Committee. In 2016, his peers elected him to the US Biathlon Board of Directors. Bailey considered retiring after the 2016 season but a chance to lead the creation of a new biathlon venue and program as executive director at the Crosscut Mountain Sport Center in Bozeman, Montana allowed him to continue in the sport, setting up his historic gold medal performance at the 2017 Biathlon World Championships.
Did you know...?
- I could not live without… Music
- My favorite place in the world is… Coastal Maine
- My dream vacation spot is… Jost Van Dyke
- When traveling, the thing I miss the most is… friends and family
- My favorite meal is… L & S Burger
- My favorite television show is… Curb Your Enthusiasm
- I never leave my house without… coffee
- My favorite quote is… "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are"
- If I were not an athlete, I would be… A Musician
Biathlon Since: 1996
Member of National Team since: 2001
Poles: One Way
Coaches: Per Nilsson, Jonas Johansson