Audrey Vaillancourt: Olympic Journey

This article was originally published on Audrey's Make A Champ page.

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Join in on my Olympic journey!

My name is Audrey Vaillancourt and I am a member of the Canadian Biathlon National Team. Born in Quebec City, I started cross-country skiing at the age of six. A few years later, following the tracks of my two older brothers, François and Maxime, I tried biathlon and immediately fell in love with the sport. At 12 years old, I discovered how challenging it was to aim at a target – no bigger than an orange! – with your hearth still racing from skiing as fast as you can. To me, this combination is what makes it such an amazing sport.

That’s right – biathlon is my PASSION. Now let me introduce you to my DREAM…

My first season on the Senior National Team was three years ago. I spent the entire winter in Europe, racing on the IBU Cup and World Cup against the best biathletes in the world. The experience was exciting, yet terrifying: very high level of competition, crowds of 30 000 people, races shown on TV… I gained a lot of experience that year, which allowed me to show up on the start line with a little more confidence the following winter. It was, however, already an Olympic year! Of course I wanted to qualify for the Sochi Olympics, but I was also aware of how early that was in my career. In the end, I qualified as the spare woman (so close!), but my disappointment did not stop me from obtaining my career-best result that same winter: gold at European Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Winning my first international title gave me the motivation I needed to keep going and reminded me that the journey to the 2018 Olympics was definitely worth it!

But pursuing my dream comes with a price.

Whether you are on the National Team or not, elite sport incurs very high expenses: traveling costs (training camps and races), equipment, race fees, etc. On top of all these (and of day-to-day expenses), I need to pay 6500$ in team fees every year to be on the National Team. If I can’t pay for my place on the team, then I can’t race on the World Cup, which leaves me no opportunity to make Olympic criteria. And there goes the dream…

That’s where you come in!

I created this campaign hoping to cover my 6500$ team fee for this year, so I can keep my eyes on the goals – not on my bank account! Whether you wish to join in on my Olympic journey, would love to have a signed bib, or want to come out for a shooting session with me, there is a reward to suit everyone. Just know that whatever your contribution is – could be sharing the campaign! – I will greatly appreciate it.

THANK YOU for your support! :)

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