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Bow Valley High biathlete set to compete in European Youth Olympic Festival

“Honestly I think it’s awesome,” Member of Team Great Britain, Quentin James Wedderburn said. “I’ve been through a lot of competitions trying to get here right now, so I quite excited right now and I’m honoured."
Bow Valley High School senior James Quentin Wedderburn will participate in the 2023 Winter European Youth Olympics in Italy from Jan. 21 to 28.

Seventeen-year-old Bow Valley High senior, Quentin James Wedderburn, will be looking to shoot and ski his way to success on the international stage at the 2023 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival later this month.

The competition will take place in Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, as well as parts of Austria and Slovenia, from Jan. 21 to 28. Over 2,000 young athletes from 40 European nations are expected to participate across 14 winter-oriented sports.

Wedderburn, who hails originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, is one of 18 athletes who will be competing for Team Great Britain. The team consists of athletes between the ages of 15 and 17 years old.

Although he is excited to compete in the multi-sport event, Wedderburn said he was actually unaware he had been signed up to be a potential selection, only finding out once he’d made the team.

“My parents signed me up to be part of the British team without my knowledge,” Wedderburn said. “And so, they said I could join after looking at my race history.”

Wedderburn was selected by the British Olympic Association to participate in the biathlon, a two-part sport that consists of cross-country skiing followed by shooting a rifle at targets. As part of Team Great Britain, the Scottish-born student-athlete is looking forward to participating in the competition.

“Honestly I think it’s awesome,” Wedderburn said. “I’ve been through a lot of competitions trying to get here right now, so I quite excited right now and I’m honoured.

“I went to race with them last year and I did decent, so they let me come back and I’m racing with them all the time.”

As a senior at Bow Valley High School, Wedderburn said he plans to continue participating in biathlon competitions following his graduation this spring. He hopes to continue racing for Team Great Britain as a full-time biathlete in the future, and perhaps participate in the full-fledged Olympics one day.

Keeping his expectations modest, the Bow Valley High student-athlete outlined he hopes to finish in the top half of the field at the youth Olympics.

“Probably around the top fifty per cent of athletes, around there,” Wedderburn said.

Daniel Gonzalez

About the Author: Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2022. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal University Journalism program. He has worked for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and as a reporter in rural Alberta for the ECA Review.
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