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  • Tony Fiala- Biathlon

      Tony Fiala just missed qualifying for the 1994 Olympic team but earned his criteria early for the 1998 Games meeting the standard at a World Cup event two seasons ago. While he only entered one World Cup race this season before the Games, he's spent his time at home working on the physical and mental aspects of his race.
      "I have a lot of experience racing at the top level so I know what it's like," Fiala said. "So I don't think missing those World Cup will put me at a disadvantage. I've been working on getting mentally psyched because I didn't have my best season last year. I want to be fresh and ready for the Olympics. It's an approach that I feel can bring me some success."
      A true Canadian outdoorsman, it is hardly surprising Fiala was quick to adapt to the rigors of biathlon. The Quesnel, B.C., resident works full-time as a park ranger near his home at Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. He is a University of Alberta graduate in recreation administration and during the summer keeps fit competing in marathon canoe.
      In the winter, Fiala was an avid cross country skier, he even made the B.C., provincial team four straight years, but at the age of 19 switched to biathlon. He qualified for the 1992 Olympic biathlon team helping Canada to 10th place in the men's relay and was also 26th in the 20 kilometre individual event.
      "The shooting part of the sport was very frustrating for me at first," Fiala said. "There's so much to learn and so many variables and that took a few years."