North Carolina is not known for producing many Biathletes. As it so happens, I only spent a few years of my childhood there before my family moved to Old Forge, NY. It was in this rural upstate New York town where I first put on a pair of skis. Although I didn’t move to Lake Placid until 1991 at the age of ten, I consider it my hometown and the place where I actually set out to pursue Nordic skiing and biathlon in earnest. It is in Lake Placid where I met my amazing partner, best friend, and wife, Erika, and where we have started a family with the birth of our daughter, Ophelia Jane Bailey, on June 15th, 2017. Here I am in summer 2017 with the whole family on Lake Placid (Hazel the dog on the left!).
During my middle and high school years, I divided my time between skiing, soccer, and tennis. Except for a brief experiment with Nordic combined, I stuck to cross-country skiing in the winter and eventually took on the sport full-time by my junior year of high school. At this point I had competed at regional and national junior events and the U.S. Biathlon Team invited me to train with them for a recruitment training camp in Lake Placid. I spent three summer weeks getting to know the sport of biathlon and the people involved. Finally, during my senior year of high school in 1999, I qualified for the Junior World Championship Biathlon Team.
Since then, I’ve spent nearly two decades competing internationally and training in a variety of different locations. I was a part of three Junior World Championship Teams, two World University Games Teams, ten Senior World Championship Teams, three NCAA ski championships, and three Olympic Teams. If you are interested in my specific results, click here. Otherwise, suffice it to say that I have been fortunate to compete at a variety of different levels of regional, national, and international sport and I am looking forward to continuing on that path.
At the moment I am a member of the U.S Men’s World Cup Team. The World Cup season consists of thirty or so competitions taking place between November and March each winter. Most of the competition venues are in Europe, where crowds routinely number in the tens of thousands.
Although the competition season only takes place in the winter, the training schedule of an elite biathlete typically involves two sessions a day, six days a week, 48 weeks per year. Some weeks are harder, some are easier, but generally speaking, on an average day I can expect about 4 to 6 hours of training time. Combined with the preparation time for each
workout, recovery time, and travel, this amounts to a full-time profession. But, I love my job!