It only comes around every 4 years!!!

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The Olympics are over!! And mixed emotions are running through my head that are overwhelming. I am so happy to have been apart of this enormous event and a little sad it has all come to an end. It was a very long journey getting there, and it was worth every bit of it!
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My races were great, and I’m very pleased to have made history in one of my events for Australian Biathlon. In the 20km Individual, I crossed the line in 45th, which was the best result for an Australian male at the Olympic Games. On the day the crowd was wild, and it was amazing! I felt great and my skis were running good, my shooting was going perfect, and I was coming in the top 20. Then unfortunately I missed 2 shots on my last standing which was a little disappointing, but I kept on pushing hard and at the end of the day I was stoked with my event!


The Olympic village was amazing! It is turning into a 5 star resort after the games, so we were very lucky! Food was awesome. Both Closing and Opening ceremonies were unbelievable! Volunteers that smiled and always helped you out and made you feel welcome was wonderful! What can I say, for me everything was perfect from the accommodation, to the food, to the organization! Russia was a great host and I give them my respect for that.

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Olympics is the greatest event in the World! So many nations and athletes from all different sports come together to show their talent and do their nation proud. Obviously with this hype athletes have to deal with a lot of media and pressure, especially if they are set to win medals, some crumble and other shine. But when see an athlete win a medal, that shiny piece of metal that everyone works so hard for, it brings a tear to your eye. As an athlete you know how much it really means to them. Seeing this, feeling it, makes you so happy inside and it motivates you to keep going so maybe one day you will be standing on that same podium having tears of joy yourself. Olympics will always be a special moment in society, doesn’t matter if you win or loose it will always be an experience of a lifetime and I have been blessed to be apart of it!

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I would like to thank everyone at home for cheering and giving us support throughout my Olympic experience! It was awesome having you all behind our backs supporting! It did help! Don’t think I’m saying that! But most importantly I would like to thank all the supporter and sponsors that helped me get there! You have become like family to me and I will never forget what you have done for me! I cant wait to see you and thank you in person!

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There will be no doubt lots of memories from these Olympics! I will cherish every moment and never take it for granted! I am already ready for my next Olympic Games, I know it is 4 years time but I know time will fly and In no time at all ill be there again!

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I am currently in Austria and I have another 2 World Cups coming with 1 IBU Cup in between, so the season is not over just yet!

heres some more pictures!

Alex

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Sochi Bear, Philpots twin brother

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Olympics Are Coming

 

It is official! I have been selected for the 2014 Winter Olympic Team!! I am very excited and I can’t wait to compete in 2 weeks time.

Pursuit in IBU Cup Ruhpolding

Pursuit in IBU Cup Ruhpolding

 

 

It was very nerve-wracking not knowing will I be selected for the team, trying to stay focused in training not knowing what was going to happen was difficult. Our nation was waiting for a quota reallocation, I got notified on the 24th at 4 am that I we have been allocated a spot and that I needed to send an email to the federation saying I was fit and healthy to compete. Half asleep I wrote an email down at the lobby but went back to bed feeling happy and relieved!!!

 

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For those that don’t know what this quota system is all about, I will explain. The points for our nation ranking are summarized from the 2 World Championships before Olympics, and since our team is not very big it is difficult to gather a significant amount of points to be in contention for an Olympic quota spot. Top 20 countries get to take 4 athletes and nations from 20-28 get to take only one. Australia was ranked 31st, so we needed some nations not to take their full quota so that Australia can get it on reallocation. As we predicted the reallocation went up to around 33rd nation rank, so we were safely in but it was still very stressful waiting. Same went for the women, Australia was ranked 34th so it was a very nice surprise that we got a female spot too! A massive congratulations to Lucy Glanville who will make her first Olympic depute in Sochi! Both Lucy and I made our individual qualifications during the season, which is 20% behind the leader in World Cup Or IBU Cup, so we were both waiting just on reallocation.

 

 

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After University Games I got sick and it took a good 3 weeks to get healthy, my races haven’t been all that flash after the new year but they haven’t been appalling. I am currently in Ridanun (Ita) where I am doing a pre Olympic altitude camp. This is my favourite training place with all the facilities you can ask for! So my preparation is going really well. My skiing has improved this year and results have shown that! So I am very excited to see what result I can produce being fit and healthy.

 

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I would like to thank everyone that has supported me throughout my journey to  get to these Olympics, I will try to give it my very best and do Australia Proud!

 

 

Wish me luck!

The Team

The Team

 

Medal, Flowers, Podium!!!

Podium

Podium

University games are now complete and finally I have a result that will stay with me for the rest of my life! Coming so close in each event, 10th, 7th and always only one miss away from a medal I knew I had a good chance of getting onto the podium in the pursuit event. I started 7th, and I managed to fight my way through to 3rd! It has been my goal to get international flowers (Top 6) for quite some time now, and now it has finally happened! Yes, it may be only World University Games, but for me this was special. The Russians had very strong boys in their team, with most of them having titles like Junior World Champion or an Open European Champ. Half of them have raced World Cup before, so I knew they were the ones to look out for! But they weren’t the only contenders, NOR, SWE, GER,CZE, SVK and especially the Ukraine boys with a guy that came 6th in the World Cup just a week before, he was 5th in the pursuit.

Pursuit Start

Pursuit Start

I felt really good throughout all the races, but in the pursuit everything just seemed easy. I concentrated on having precise shooting, and without even pushing myself to the limits, I still managed to have 4rd fastest ski time. Yes I will admit that the last lap was tough, we were pushing hard and battling for the podium, and having 4 Russians in the pack that played a little tactical it wasn’t easy! It may of been possible to get a better position by either not missing my last shot on standing or going out first and skiing as fast as I can on the last lap. But 3rd for me, was like a gold!! Very happy, very satisfied! I was also hoping for a good result in the Mass start, I lead out of the start and then found out my skis were absolute shockers! lost 15 places on the downhill. So will not comment on that race.

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Before Uni Games started I felt bad on my skis but still had some reasonable results, like coming 56th in my first World Cup. The second WC wasn’t so flash, and I could feel I wasn’t race ready. I was still making under 15% in each race which is the Qualification for the Olympics. I am definitely happy now to finally find my race legs!

Leading out of the Mass Start

Leading out of the Mass Start

We have now arrived to Ridnaun (ITA). A very nice place with superb dining and an awesome Wellness Centre. I do although have some bad news, I woke up this morning a sick, sore throat and congested. I guess when you’re on form an athlete is prone to getting sick, that’s just tough luck. I will hope to fight it off quick and hopefully not loose my great shape!

Everyone Swapping Uniform!

Everyone Swapping Uniform!

Decent Italian Pizza!

Decent Italian Pizza!

Season is here – IBU Cup, Idre (SWE)

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So the season has started! Last weekend was the first IBU Cup of the winter! I would have to say I was hoping for a better result, but I feel it was satisfactory to the way I felt during the race. My legs are definitely not in race shape, and my whole body felt weak even though I have felt really strong in training, but training and racing are completely different. It is absolutely normal to feel like this for the first race of the season and ski time was around the same as last year, so I am definitely not complaining. The shooting went well, only 1 miss in the prone so I am happy with that!

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The trip to Idre (Sweden) was long and tiring, it is 5 hours difference in time, so the jetlag is hitting me. During our trip, we had a lot of sick people around coughing and sneezing and spreading their germs. I have to admit I do feel like I am not on the healthy side at the moment and that is why I missed today race. Hopefully I don’t get worse, and my races will only get better from here on.


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Next stop is Ostersund Sweden where I will have 2 events, 20km individual and a sprint. Hope I feel stronger and healthier there!
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Also while we are parking we saw the Canadian van back into a very nice Porsche… Very Unlucky

Talk soon.

Here is some pictures from our wax Hut. We were the only Nation left with a wax room like this, everyone else had a proper room. We got used to it and we survived!

Discrimination to the Australian team??

Discrimination to the Australian team??

Our Little wax Hut!

Our Little wax Hut!

I’m coming!

Hil-Bounding

Hil-Bounding

20131025_123319_9We have now had 3 weeks of consistent training and everything seems to be going to plan, the only thing that has been a hassle is the snow! Warm temperatures are melting the snow on the track that saturates the bottom layers which then freezes with the help of the cooling track, turning it into sheet ice! Some days have been very difficult to stay upright, but the stadium crew is working on a strategy to make it skiable.

20131025_122351You probably wonder why I don’t write about something interesting that is going on or that has happened during our training camp, well ill be honest our daily routine is fairly boring. We get up at 7:45, morning run at 8 till 8:30 then its breakfast time, first training session starts at 10 and goes untill 12.30, and at 1 we are already having lunch. We have quiet time from 2- 4.30 and then we dry-fire for half hour, second training starts at 5 pm and dinner is at 7. So you can see why I don’t have much to write about, we just literally don’t have any time for anything exciting.

The only news is that Sabi Howell arrived yesterday to join the team in Russia, with 2 girls in the house the gossip will begin and social interactions will increase.

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The season is creeping up fast, and I feel a little nervous/excited! I know I have improved over the summer it is just a matter of how much! I am sure it will be a tough but fun season!

Bike riding with rollerskis on the new done thing!

Bike riding with rollerskis on the new done thing!

Winter is coming!

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Even though my foot has been an annoyance I have been able to train consistently. A month of roller skiing and cycling got quite repetitive, but I got through it. Now I have had a short week break from intense training, and I’m ready to go again!

 

Weather has been chilly and they have started to put old snow from last year on the track. Tyumen has recently built a cooler track, it is a roller-ski track that has antifreeze running through it so that the snow doesn’t melt due to warm temperatures, this lets athletes train on snow early without waiting for cold conditions for natural or artificial snow. Although the track is not quite ready, all the athletes are eager to get skiing.

 

I am excited to have another month of good training! Lucy and Daniel will join me tomorrow so I will have some company in training. I have slowly started running on my foot, but definitely it is still a little sore, also my legs cramp up after 50 minutes of running due to the lack of cross training. My legs have forgotten how to run and contract quickly, but I will fix that soon.

 

This season will be long and exciting hopefully everything goes to plan. These are the events I will be competing in.

 

22 Nov 2013 IBU Cup 1

 

29 Dez 2013 Idre (SWE)

 

22 Nov 2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 1

 

01 Dez 2013 Oestersund (SWE)

 

03 Dez 2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 2

 

08 Dez 2013 Hochfilzen (AUT)

 

09 Dez 2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 3

 

15 Dez 2013 Annecy-Le Grand Bornand (FRA)

 

10-21 Dec. Winter World University Games. in Trentino, Italy.

 

18 Dez 2013 IBU Cup 3

 

21 Dez 2013 Obertilliach (AUT)

 

01 Jan 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 4

 

05 Jan 2014 Oberhof (GER)

 

03 Jan 2014 IBU Cup 4

 

05 Jan 2014 Forni Avoltri (ITA)

 

06 Jan 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 5

 

12 Jan 2014 Ruhpolding (GER)

 

13 Jan 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 6

 

19 Jan 2014 Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)

 

16 Jan 2014 IBU Cup 6

 

18 Jan 2014 Altenberg (GER)

 

27 Jan 2014 IBU Open European Championships

 

04 Feb 2014 Nove Mesto (CZE)

 

07 Feb 2014 Olympic Winter Games

 

23 Feb 2014 Sochi (RUS)

 

03 Mrz 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 7

 

09 Mrz 2014 Pokljuka (SLO)

 

10 Mrz 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 8

 

16 Mrz 2014 Kontiolahti (FIN)

 

17 Mrz 2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 9

 

23 Mrz 2014 Oslo Holmenkollen (NOR)

 

After all that I will do some spring races right up until 10th of April! So it will be a very long/interesting season! It is the big one, so I have to stay focused!!

 

Talk soon.

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Cleaning out blog cobwebs

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You haven’t heard from me in a while, so I thought an update would be necessary!

One week after my twist

One week after my twist

My home visit was defiantly a difficult one, and it didn’t achieve much. Yes, the first week was good with having the art show, which I would like to thank everyone so much for organizing especially Evelyn!! Being home and seeing the ocean was also great, but then it all went downhill. Got sick, severely twisted my ankle that I still can’t run on today, races weren’t flash, and training was poor. Yep, I was a little disappointed. There was lots of positive moments, like seeing my comrades, skiing, eating auzzie food, and being finally home!

I am now back in Russia! Training is going well, although I still can’t run on my foot I can do a lot of roller skiing and cycling. I feel as I am starting to get my shape back and everything seems to be going smoothly.

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Home Breakfast!!!

Home Breakfast!!!

Made a movie not long ago check it out!

The Road to Sochi Olympics

Finally some free time for a coffee

Finally some free time for a coffee

So summer training has now well and truly started for me!  Since my last post, I have had a good month of training and I’ve finally graduated Uni!  I’ve been so busy the past month with training and writing my thesis that I have had no free time at all! let alone updating my blog. But now I’m a qualified specialist and I’m so glad it is all over! Although I am thinking of going on to masters, but I would like to keep being on scholarship. There is only 10 spots for the year available so it may be a little hard.. But since I got a high distinction in my thesis, fingers crossed they’ll take me!

Presenting my thesis

My fellow AUS team-mates have arrived in Russia and we’ve all begun the hard slog which is summer training for a Biathlete. Our day consists of morning activities which covers a little strength, running and generally waking up our bodies for the day’s activities ahead. Then we have breakfast, a break and at around 10am we start the day’s first training block. At the moment that involves shooting training with either roller skiing, running or bike-riding. This might last for 2-3hrs. Then we have lunch and a rest. Around 3-4pm, we start the 2nd training block for the day. This might be hill-bounding, roller-skiing or strength in the gym. It will generally go for another 1.5-2hrs, maybe longer if it’s a roller-ski session. We are currently training at the World Cup Competition Venue in Tyumen, Russia. This Centre is known as the “Pearl of Siberia” as it’s such a great facility. It has athlete accommodation on site, 2 shooting ranges, km’s and km’s of roller ski tracks and an athlete café where we all eat lunch.

Shooting training

Shooting training

Its great to train in Russia at this time of year as there is so much day-light that we can train quite late in the afternoon when its cooler and we’ve had a good afternoon rest. Often the light disappears for the day at 11pm and then sun rises at 5am.  I’ll continue training here until July when I’ll be back in AUS for some AUS Cross Country races and on-snow training.

There is a little muscly dog here that trains with us everyday. Look at the video, he’s definitely fitter then us!

Thanks Alex

World Cup Points – The Perfect Day in Sochi

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photoWoo-hoo… I have finally achieved something that has been a milestone ever since I started skiing! It is such a good feeling to be improving every year and showing the results you are aiming for.

After Bulgaria we left for Oslo, we were greeted with lovely weather that made training so enjoyable. A great hotel that accommodated all the athletes made it sociable and fun, the variety of food was incredible and it filled every desire of the stomach. Even though I was feeling lethargic everyday I was mentally enjoying every bit of Norway.

Cl6Q4nfhDZYThe race was hard and painful but I felt much lighter then in Bulgaria. I shot 2 penalties and came in 82nd. I knew I was still in bad shape so I started preparing for Sochi and after a couple of days we chartered to Sochi.

It is safe to say that Sochi is far from finished and still in heavy construction, everything apart from the venues are still getting built. The weather was very contrasting, with sun, fog and snow hitting us on different days, but most of the time it was very warm and pleasant.

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7fNLygfF80YMy first race finished with history, the first Aussie male to make top 40 and achieve World Cup points! Zero penalties in my 20km individual and fast skiing put me in 33rd place.  I felt relaxed and everything on that day was perfect, I am very happy from this result, I have been dreaming of World Cup points and finally I have some! The sprint wasn’t as exciting but I felt good and I was satisfied, it was slushy and snowing so starting almost last didn’t go to my advantage. I finished 74th with 2 penalties.

I3vxDuYcQOekt has been a very good season for me indeed and with only one World Cup left it is almost all over! Although there is still a couple of closing races left after my last WC but that will be all fun.

We are now in Khanty where it is a little chilly. My race is tomorrow and I am feeling good so hopefully it all goes to plan.

Cheers,

Alex
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Open European Championships

What a race! Let me tell you, there was defiantly a lot of pain and frustration along the track… My skis were defiantly not running to a good standard and my overall form was lagging in power, put those 2 together and you have yourself a bad race! The only thing that was going good for me was the shooting, 0,0,0 until the last standing where it crumbled into 3 penalties, with those came frustration and a lack of motivation for the last loop!  Finished in 84th , far from ideal.

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We have now arrived to Bansko (BUL) for the Open European Championships. It’s a bit weird here with all the little side shops and strip joints, but It’s different and I like that. Europe is basically all the same and you really get over it, its good to have a variety of culture and architecture in your trip, helps you clear up a little from the long 6 months away from home!

The Team

The Team

I have already raced the 20km individual and it wasn’t what was looking for.  Although I did have really good shooting maing only making one mistake, but unfortunately my skis weren’t running good and my shape is still down. I placed 26th/69 which is not too bad, but having only one miss I would of liked to be in the top 10. I am feeling better and better in each race so hopefully tomorrow I have a good one.

Talk soon
Alex