BEIJING, China — Team USA made history in the biathlon 4x6km mixed relay at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Saturday, led by Cape Elizabeth native Clare Egan.
Although the U.S. finished in seventh in the race, missing the podium, Egan delivered a standout performance. She skied the second leg for the U. S. in the event, which combines skiing and shooting.
Each racer had two shooting sequences – one in prone position, which is when the skier is firing from the ground on their stomach, and one in a standing position.
In each firing sequence, competitors are required to hit five targets and are allowed three extra bullets (for a total of eight). For each target left standing, athletes have to ski a penalty lap around a 150m loop.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame executive director Bill Green, a former reporter for NEWSCENTER Maine, said Egan had the fourth-fastest time of the day, skiing 17:38 with one missed target during shooting, which put her behind Simon of France (17:17 with two misses), Roeiseland of Norway (17:18 with one miss) and Vittozzi of Italy (17:35 with one miss). Alimbekava of Belarus had the next fastest time behind Egan 17:49 with two misses.
Green said biathlon remains the only returning Olympic sport in which no American has ever medaled. Egan and Susan Dunklee, also an American, are considered reasonable threats to break the streak.
Egan, 34, graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School in 2006 before attending Wellesley College and the University of New Hampshire.