It is undeniable that Steve Cyr is dedicated to his sport and determined to produce one of Canada's best ever Olympic results in men's biathlon. Cyr actually holds the men's Olympic mark with an eighth place in the 10 kilometre at the 1992 Olympics. This past summer he spent the month of September training with the Belarussian team in Minsk and also spent time in August and October on the glaciers at altitude in Dachstein, Austria. He is already qualified for his third Games.
"This was my second summer in a row I travelled to Minsk and it was a much more enjoyable experience this time," said Cyr, 30, ninth last season at the world championships in the 20 kilometre race. "That first summer I had a very cold reception from the Belarussian team and I had trouble keeping up. In fact I was usually last in every race. But this summer I was regularly among the top three guys."
His goal at the Games is a top-16 finish in both events, a feat few biathletes have achieved. But Cyr is concerned about the conditions for the biathlon races in Nagano, where signs of spring are usually in evidence by mid-February.
"At the World Cup last year we basically raced in slush," he said. "That's a disadvantage for me. I'm much more effective when the track is hard and the weather is cold. With races scheduled for the afternoon that's could cause me problems."
Cyr is currently a corporal at the 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces in Valcartier, Que. The Forces are currently allowing him to train full -time for the Games. In addition to his national team duties, he also represents the regiment at the Canadian military biathlon championships and the world military biathlon championships, both big events which bring a lot of prestige to the Regiment. "It's a big deal for us to win the biathlon events at the Canadian military championships," said Cyr. "And we usually do."
Cyr first attempted the biathlon in 1986. He lived near the Forces base in Valcartier and often saw the biathletes training on the roads on roller skies. In fact, Cyr tried roller skies before attacking the snow trails. By 1987 he was already on the national junior team. He joined the Forces in 1988.