Pascale Paradis review’s her Youth Olympic experience
My Youth Olympic Games Experience
One of my absolute favourite things about YOG was how many spectators were cheering. I think there were close to 2000 people. It felt very different from Worlds which I attended in Otepaa, Estonia two years earlier. It made me very nervous at first but then I got used the energy that was there and I think it helped me in the end.
I want to share with you the story of my second race which was the relay with Ethan Algra from Sovereign Lake BC. It was my second race and I was excited about it. I wanted to do better than my individual race the day before (31st finish out of 97 racers). The drive to redeem myself was a big motivation – particularly the order of my shooting haha (which I had mixed the day before whoops). It was a mass start and I started first. There were 30 teams. I was in the 5th row and the pace picked up very quickly as we immediately went up the first (very steep) hill. I was not nervous once we got started – in part because it was a relay and I felt that there was less pressure. There was a lot of climbing – but I was keeping pace with the first five girls. When I came into the range my nerves went up again as everyone comes into the range at the same time for the prone shooting. I shot 5! I was surprised and it gave me that boost to ski even faster on my second lap. At this point, I was still with the top girls and was able to stay with them. When I came into my last standing shooting I managed to hit 4 (and then used one spare). My legs were so cooked and thank god I was able to tag it over to Ethan. We were in 6th position. The crowds were still going crazy. Ethan did amazing and was able to finish our team in 11th position. I thought it was a pretty good day!
I loved my experience at this event – it was unique and I know a once in a lifetime experience. I feel lucky that I got to go and appreciated the support from Biathlon Canada, the International Olympic Committee and my team (they were the best). I can’t wait to go back to a world event (post-COVID of course).