Michelle Collard rebounded from not making the national A team last season to win the overall Canadian title and cap a fine season. Collard, 22, missed qualifying for the A team by two seconds at the trials last winter after making the team the previous season.
"I was crushed with disappointment at not making the national team," said Collard, born and raised in Vanderhoof, BC., and now training in Canmore. "But I never thought about quitting. And I ended up having a good season overall. At the Canadians I really wanted to show what I could do."
In addition to her Canadian crown, Collard placed first overall on the North American circuit and helped Canada to a third place in the women's relay at a Europa Cup competition.
She began the biathlon at age 12 when her father decided to try the sport. He was in charge of organizing the B.C. Winter Games and had always been an avid cross country skier and hunter.
"I think he was intrigued by the sport," said Collard, whose father is now president of Biathlon B.C. "And he took me along for the ride. I didn't like it at first. We were the only two people in Vanderhoof doing this sport. But as soon as I got involved at an organized level I was more interested."
Her first big race was in 1991 as a member of the B.C. team at the Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island. She has completed two years of studies in outdoor recreation and tourism at the University of Northern B.C., in Prince George.