Mackenzie Turner joins Team Canada biathlon squad
CANMORE, Alta. – Ice Lake biathlete Mackenzie Turner is advancing to the world stage, with an upcoming showdown later this month at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Youth and Junior World Championships in Switzerland, followed by an IBU Cup in Germany the following week.
“It was a little bit unexpected, but it’s very nice. At the start of the season it was a bit of a rough go. Things were not lining up the way I wanted to do with the first set of races and I wasn’t feeling my best. Going into the races, I got myself together and managed to perform well,” said Ms. Turner, speaking with The Expositor from Canmore, Alberta, home to the headquarters of Biathlon Canada.
Ms. Turner, who is on the Rocky Mountain Racers team, was one of eight athletes named to the 2020 junior world championships team, representing Canada at the Lenzerheide, Switzerland event between January 24 and February 2.
“It’s my first time representing Team Canada. I’m pretty excited,” said Ms. Turner.
She said this year has been going particularly well. Training has been satisfying and Ms. Turner has been feeling good throughout the summer months.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on keeping myself healthy and trying not to psych myself out for being on the world stage like that. I’ve got to keep cool and focus on what I know I can do,” said Ms. Turner.
She was first introduced into biathlon at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, tried it out the following year and began on a competitive level around 2014.
Although this competition does not define Ms. Turner’s place in any standings, she said she was looking forward to the opportunity to expand her competition and see what other challenges may lie ahead.
“I’m going to see how Europe goes, and go from there,” said Ms. Turner. “Then I’ll come back to Canmore, will train for a month, then head to nationals. The Canadian championships are in Valcartier, Quebec in mid-March.”
The 21-year-old is at the top range of the 19-21 junior division, and fellow Canadians in the youth division (ages 17 and 18) will be also competing at the event.
The competition in Europe is expected to be fierce, so Ms. Turner said she was not planning on entering the matches with any preconceptions about her results.
“I’m just going to go over and see how Europe is, how that racing is like and perform my best,” she said.
Ms. Turner expressed her gratitude to the many people back home who have supported her over the years as she climbs the ranks in biathlon.
“I cannot thank people enough for that,” she said.