Nathan grew up in Calgary and spent many weekends of early childhood traveling to the local mountains. At first he hiked, biked, and skiied in a backpack or chariot, then eventually on his own two feet. After several years in the Foothills Nordic XC ski program (along with his brother Tyson) he decided to give a new and possibly very exciting sport a try: biathlon. Emma often reminisces fondly of her time in sea cadets. She has many great, and sometimes awkward, stories of her experiences at cadet camp. Not only did cadets help hone her military-precision skills at tent setup, canoeing, and knot tieing, it also introduced her to biathlon.
After a few years Emma moved over to the civilian side. She spent a year training at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic venue, then moved to Canmore to train alongside many of the best athletes in Canada. Nathan made the move to Canmore after finishing high school and began training with the National Development team. He always thought it would be amazing to go to the Olympics, but found the most enjoyment in everyday training and working hard to improve himself. After 10 years of full time training Nathan realized his goal of competing at the 2014 Sochi Olympics; where he finished 7th in the relay and 11th in the pursuit.
Sometimes Nathan's inspiration takes a little detour away from biathlon for a few hours (many many hours). Often found in the garage, and having lost track of time, he can be consumed by a “project.” These projects can be pretty random; from tweaking race equipment, to art, to building a home made welder from recycled microwave parts. Fun fact: Nathan made both his and Emma's rifle stocks by hand.
While Nathan is tinkering away, Emma spends several days each week working down at Starbucks as a barista: greeting the regulars and out of towners with her bubbly personality and smile. More often than not a couple other athletes can be found sipping drinks as she buzzes around wiping tables and keeping the place in order. Full-time athlete, part time barista, Emma made a buzz last year when she broke into the top-30 in her first World Cup appearance. That result has given her even more fuel and motivation towards a 2018 Olympic goal. After the 2014 Olympics, Nathan has turned his focus forward to 2016, when Canmore will host its first biathlon world cup in over two decades. He wants to be the first Canadian male to medal on home soil.
Canmore is the best place for both Emma and Nathan to be training in Canada, but to continue their development as world class athletes they need to find a way to cross the funding hurdle. Every single year they both need to cover their team fees ($6500 each), paying their own way at international racing tours (flights, accommodations etc), and training equipment, which is on top of living costs (rent, food etc). By minimizing the hours of work, and the stress accompanied by it, Nathan and Emma will be able to go the extra mile, and reach their goals. With your generous contributions, you help diminish some of their financial burden which allows them to spend less time figuring out ways to afford to compete in their sport, and more time training to be the best in the world.