Biathlon: A successful season for a young athlete from Northern Ontario

The 2022-2023 biathlon season is coming to an end in the next few weeks, and for Shilo Rousseau, who is completing his fourth season as a student athlete, this is his most prolific yet.

The 22-year-old athlete, who studies at the University of Ottawa, had a season that saw her covered in medals and important performances at the international level.

In particular, she won three medals, including two gold at the World University Winter Games in Lake Placid in the United States, a Canadian record.


Shilo Rousseau completed the 10 km pursuit with a Canadian flag in hand to celebrate his victory.

Photo: Courtesy: International University Sports Federation

In early March, she wrapped up her competitive season by helping Team Canada finish 10th in the mixed relay at the IBU Cup held in Canmore, Alberta.

The main interested party says that this year of competition has been crowned with success, despite a certain desire to put less time into the sport.

I kind of took a step back, focused on basic workouts, but focusing more on my masters project and finishing my bachelorsshe explains.

I refocused on my love of sport […] for pleasure. »

A quote from Shilo Rousseau, biathlon athlete

However, she is very proud of the results, especially since she had the opportunity this year to compete at the highest level since the beginning of her career by going to Alberta.

I was just going there for the experience at the international competition level and it was close to home, so when I realized I was able to perform in a consistent way that reflected my skills it was amazingshe says.

She is particularly proud of having hit the target perfectly during her last chase.

According to Heather Ambery, Executive Director of Biathlon Canada, Shilo’s performance was good, especially as the caliber of the IBU cup is considered a level just below the world cup.

She describes Shilo as being a competitor, who likes to go into pressure and chase situations, that she is able to shoot well in very high pressure situations.

She shoots really well in the shooting rangeshe adds.

A full-time student athlete

Beyond sport, there is also school. Shilo Rousseau, unlike many other biathlon athletes in the country, continues to work full time on his bachelor’s and then master’s school project.

Heather Ambery says that during the off-season, which should run from the end of March to November, Biathlon Canada will have the opportunity to speak with Ms. Rousseau to discuss what to do next.

We are going to have conversations with Shilo, to ask what are the next steps, what she wants to do, if it is school or biathlon that she wants to do the mostshe explains.

With athletes at this level, you have to find a track that is good for [eux] to keep them motivated throughoutshe adds.

She points out that for full-time athletes with the Canadian team, the normal pace of competition involves competitions almost every week from the beginning to the end of the season with a few weeks off during the holidays.

>Heather Ambery with a black Biathlon Canada jacket.>

Heather Ambery has been Executive Director of Biathlon Canada since 2018.

Photo: Biathlon Canada

Asked if she wants to make the jump to regular competition next fall, the biology student-athlete said it’s a difficult decision, which has several consequences that she must analyze.

For the other athletes who are full-time with the Canadian team, it means moving to Canmore to train full-time, but I still have another semester left in the fall to finish my baccalaureateshe explains.

I like to do both at the same time. Both study and play sports at the highest level. Right now, school doesn’t interfere with my training, it allows me to think about something other than biathlon all the time, it’s good for keeping a mental balanceshe says.

If she still believes for the moment that she will stay at school for the next season, she says that things could change later.

For my baccalaureate, all my classes are in class, but when I get to the master’s, it’s more project-based teaching and work outside of class, so it gives you a lot more freedom to choose your schedule.she says.

The article is in French

Tags: Biathlon successful season young athlete Northern Ontario