This year the Winter Olympics are located in Vancouver, Canada. The Winter Olympics occur every 4 years.
The male Olympic athlete that I chose is Marc-Andre Bédard. He was born in Beauport, Quebec on February 19th, 1986. He is 23 years old and will celebrate his 24th birthday on February 19th during the 2010 Winter Olympics. He lives in Valcariter, Quebec, Canada.
Marc-Andre’s sport is the biathlon which he began at the age of 14 years old. An athlete that does biathlon is called a biathlete. He started to do biathlon when he was 14 years old. He has a role model which is Myriam Bédard. Myriam is a 1994 Olympic gold medalist. In 2004, Marc-André competed in his first relay event which was in a European race. Later, in 2006, it was his first individual race. Then, in 2008, he won in first place in a sprint event of the European Cup race.
The sport biathlon is combined with cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Unlike alpine skiing, which is downhill, cross-country skiing is done across snow-covered terrain. It is more-so-done on flatter surfaces. Instead of taking the chairlift or what-so-ever to get to the top of the hill, you have to move up your body using your body, skis and ski poles. The biathlon involves endurance and speed. Rifle shooting is where the participant uses a firearm which is designed to be fired from the shoulder. Rifle shooting involves precision. In the biathlon, the athlete must do a certain distance in cross-country skiing in the least amount of time. Then, the athlete will shoot at targets, hitting the target in the middle, as many as possible to avoid time penalties. I didn’t try the sport biathlon yet because I am to young to hold a gun (I am 10 years old).
Why I chose Marc-André Bédard:
a) I chose him because in winter 2010, I started cross-country skiing with my dad. I received my equipment as a Christmas present. I enjoy this sport, but it takes alot of my energy! Sometimes we go during the day, and sometimes, we go in the evening as it is getting dark. My dad also knows about rifle shooting because he goes hunting.
b) I find it nice that they invented a sport like the biathlon because it combines two sports in one. Someone who likes cross-country skiing and rifle shooting can now practice and compete in the sport biathlon.
c) Marc-André lives in a neighbouring city of my uncle, aunt and my cousins; Val Bélair.
d) My grandmother’s family name is Bédard (my dad’s mother). I think it would be neat to find out that Marc-André Bédard was somehow related to me!
The Vancouver 2010 Olympics will be Marc-André’s first presence at Olympic Games. He will be joined by two-time Olympian Robin Clegg (32 years old) of Ottawa, Brendan Green (23 years old) of Hay River, Northwest Territories and Jean Philippe Leguellec (24 years old) of Quebec in the men’s relay. Leguellec (born in Kingston, Ontario) will be the lone competitor of Team Canada, in the individual men’s biathlon events.
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About the men’s relay: The team is made of four members who, one by one, skis 7.5 km (6 km for women) then tags the next team member. Each athlete repeats this three times and must stop twice at the shooting range. Usually there are 5 shots but in this event, each athlete is allowed an extra 3 bullets. If a target is still missed, the athlete must ski a 150-meter penalty lap for each missed shot.
By: N.B., ten yrs old.