“I’m a little disappointed”
That’s from Prince George Biathlete Sarah Beaudry after wrapping up her second Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The 27-year-old was on Canada’s Mixed 4×6 Relay Team that finished 14th out of 20 teams.
In addition, Beaudry and Burns Lake product Emily Dickson placed 10th in the Olympic Biathlon Relay.
In an interview with Vista Radio, Beaudry stated it was a little disappointing to not put it all together.
“I am a little disappointed I never found my ski speed and in the first couple of races, I struggled with my shooting. But, I was happy with my last race in the relay where I got some good shooting in so that was nice.”
“In January, I was starting to feel better skiing and I thought that was going to continue but unfortunately when I got to the games I was feeling a little tired. I didn’t go in the direction I wanted and that was a little disappointing.”
Earlier at the Beijing Games, Beaudry was 80th and Dickson 81st out of 89 in the women’s 7.5 km Sprint.
Dickson was also 70th and Beaudry 80th in the field of 87 in the women’s 15 km individual race.
The PG product along with the rest of her teammates competed at the National Biathlon Centre, 180 kilometres (110 mi) north of Beijing, at an elevation of 1,665 metres.
The coolest part of the venue was being able to see a portion of the Great Wall of China in the background, one of the most iconic landmarks across the globe.
“It was neat because our biathlon venue at the very far end of it was part of the Great Wall. Obviously, not a well-maintained section but still part of it as well as the cross-country section so I got to go visit it one day.”
Beaudry’s first taste at the Olympic games was in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She noted even during those games with the COVID-19 pandemic not circulating, the whole experience is less about exploring the host city and more about being inside the Olympic Village.
“The Olympic experience even in Korea when there wasn’t a pandemic, it wasn’t so much a visit to the country in which the games are in but it’s a visit to the village which is a very unique community that gets created every Olympic games and not very many get to experience it.”
“With the pandemic, there was even less outside of the village,” added Beaudry.
Beaudry was also very happy to play the role of mentor rooming with Dickson.
“When I went to the games for the first time Rosanna (Crawford) and Megan Tandy were there so it was neat to be there and have some idea of what the whole games experience was. To be able to share my few tidbits with Emily and to be there to experience her first games was cool as well.”
Unfortunately this time around, Beaudry was unable to stay for the closing ceremonies – due to some of the rules because of the pandemic, athletes had to fly out 48 hours after their last competition.
While a bit of a downer, Beaudry was happy to head back to Canmore, Alberta, and unwind after a 3-month long journey on the road.
“It was disappointing to not be able to attend the closing ceremonies because during the last games they were a fun celebration where everyone is pretty relaxed and having fun. Obviously, with COVID, there were a few different things and with racing poorly and being a bit tired it was nice to be able to come home.”
One of the big highlights for Beaudry while in Beijing was seeing her friend and snowboarder Meryeta O’Dine become the first PG athlete to claim an Olympic medal – finishing her portion of the games with two bronze.
“It was so neat to be there and be able to watch her win and have those days that everyone dreams of where you put it all together. The challenges she has been through the past four years and to watch her put it together was inspiring,” added Beaudry.
For O’Dine, Beaudry, and Dickson to all represent the north just goes to show you don’t need to be from a major metropolitan area to become an elite-level athlete.
“Prince George is an awesome place that supports its athletes and its young people so well. To be all able to find success and be on the journey together is pretty neat.”
“It really speaks to the community and I think big cities might have a different kind of access to resources but in smaller communities, you really have that sense of community and you have all the people backing you. I think Prince George has a really great sporting community and it’s made obvious when you have three athletes at the Olympic games.”
Beaudry is now getting mentally refreshed before coming back to the northern capital to compete in the Canadian National Biathlon Championships, which takes place from March 11th to 17th at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club.
“I am excited. My Dad is super-involved and both of my parents are volunteering. I’ve actually never done a big race there since the new range was built so I am really excited to come and do an event on the new range with the new trails.”
After that, Beaudry will decide sometime in April on her future in Biathlon.