Valley-connected biathlete Megan Imrie has turned in a strong performance so far at the Sochi Olympics.
Ms. Imrie had been gunning for top-30 results in Sochi and has nailed just that (or extremely close to it) in all four of her races so far, coming 31st in the sprint on February 9th, 28th in the pursuit on February 11th, 30th in the individual on February 14th and then 28th in the mass start on February 17th.
The biathlete made her way to Sochi thanks in part to her valley connections. Ms. Imrie is good friends with Luxor Corrals owners Cheryl Condy and Doug Goodwin.
The couple have known Ms. Imrie since she was a little kid as Ms. Condy and Ms. Imrie are both originally from Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Ms. Condy apprenticed with Ms. Imrie’s father, who ran a trail riding ranch, and lived with Ms. Imrie’s parents for about a decade.
The Luxor Corrals couple held a ‘Ride with an Olympian’ fundraiser on their ranch near Spur Valley earlier this year.
“The fundraiser has been really critical to my success,” said Ms. Imrie just before Sochi. “It was wonderful, we raised close to $1,000 in a few hours, met some great people and had a blast.”
Ms. Imrie overtrained and was consequently over-tired four years ago in Vancouver, but took a more balanced approach to this Olympics and it clearly paid off. Going into the games, Ms. Imrie knew she would compete in the sprint and the individual race, but her participation in the pursuit and the mass-start hinged on her performance in the previous races. The top 60 sprint finishers move on to compete in the pursuit and Ms. Imrie was fairly confident she’d qualify for that race, but only 30 biathletes (the top performers from the sprint, pursuit and individual) are selected for the mass-start race and Ms. Imrie wasn’t entirely certain she’d make it. It turns out her concern was misplaced as she was the only Canadian woman to qualify for the mass start.
With her solid solo results behind her, Ms. Imrie has two more shots at Olympic glory — as a member of the women’s relay team and also, potentially, as a member of the men’s and women’s mixed relay team — before the games wrap up.
The women’s relay team, in particular, is one of Canada’s best in decades and has a real shot at a good showing, having managed a best-ever fourth place at a World Cup race in December.
“We were a handful of nobodies a few year ago and we’ve come up and can challenge some of the top nations,” said Ms. Imrie, speaking about the relay team before the games.
The mixed relay occurred earlier this morning, February 19th, (after press deadline but before The Valley Echo was distributed to readers) and the women’s relay will be February 21st.