Kelowna biathlete brings home 4 Canadian National medals

OKM’s Kira Friesen impressed at the championships at Whistler last week

At only 16 years old Kira Friesen is already at the top of her game, recently winning four medals at the Canadian National Biathlon Championships.

The OKM student and Telemark athlete won two golds, a silver and a bronze and added the hardware to her outstanding season winnings.

“Being amongst the best biathletes in Canada including the Canadian National team was inspiring, motivating and made me feel that getting to the world cup circuit is achievable in few years after high school,” said Friesen.

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Friesen competed in the senior girl category, won the bronze in the six kilometre spring, a silver in the 7.5 km individual race, a gold in the 7.5 km pursuit and a gold medal in the 4.5 km relay along side her Team BC partner Ksenyia Lypko from West Coast Nordic Club.

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Telemark’s Natalie Benoit competed in the youth category and placed seventh in two of her races, and 10th in her other two races.

Both Friesen and Benoit credit local Olympian Julia Ransom with preparation for the Nationals.

“Julia has really been there for us, coaching, guiding and mentoring us as we were training over the last few weeks before leaving for Nationals. It’s been so amazing working with her,” said Friesen.

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Beside her impressive medal collection, Friesen said carrying the B.C. flag over the finish line in the final leg of the relay was a proud moment.

“Hearing the crowd cheering as I crossed the line was pretty cool on BC home turf.”

Friesen and Benoit will take the next month off before training starts for the next biathlon season.

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