My name is Grace Gilliland. I am a biathlete. I ski fast, shoot quickly with accuracy and I need your support. I earned a position on the the U.S. Biathlon Team to compete at the Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia in late February but I must rasie funds for my travel and race expense.
Biathlon, which means dual event, has its roots on the Scandinavian Peninsula. National defense and military life included skiing and shooting. Outnumbered 10 to 1, Finland’s Army, outfitted with skis, defended itself against Russia during the Winter War and routed the Russians in 1939. Biathlon appeared in its current form in the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, CA.
I have lived in Alaska my whole life and enjoy biathlon and Nordic skiing. For five years I have been competing in biathlon. My first biathlon goal was to earn a spot on Team Alaska for the 2012 Arctic Winter Games (AWG). I earned a silver and bronze medal at the 2012 AWG. I also earned a position on the 2014 and 2016 AWG team winning three individual gold medals at the 2016 AWG. Last year I set my sights on earning a position on the U.S. Youth/Junior Biathlon Word Championship Team. On December 30, 2016 after the final results from the three (3) Team Trials Races held in Jericho, VT were tabulated the U.S. Biathlon Team announced the names of the four members of the 2017 women’s youth team. My name was on the team roster! I had reached my goal of being named to the team.
Only the top two youth biathletes in each gender are funded by the U.S. Biathlon Team. I was the third qualifier. I need to raise support for my room, board, coaching, and travel from Anchorage to Osrblie, Slovakia, back to Lake Placid, NY for Cross Country Junior Nationals then to Jericho, VT for U.S. Biathlon Nationals and home to Anchorage, AK. I am to meet the U.S. Biathlon Team coaches on February 18 in Vienne, Austria and travel with them to Osrblie, Slovakia for the Y/J Biathlon World Championships. Then I will return to the U.S. via Boston, MA where, depending upon funding, I plan to meet my Alaska coaches on March 2 to travel to Lake Placid, NY for races until March 11. Next I will spend a week training at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY before going to Jericho, VT on March 23 for three days of races before returning home to Anchorage, AK on March 26.
I need to pay for:
Ticket for Anchorage to Vienne w/ return to Boston ($2,200.00) by January 18
Participation fees for races in Lake Placid, NY ($3,000.00) by February 6
Participation fees for races in Osrblie, Slovakia ($1,350.00) by February 10
Return ticket from Burlington, VT to ANC ($700.00) by March 2
Participation fees for races in Jericho, VT ($500.00) by March 8
It would be very humbling to have your kind support for this important series of races in my journey to the next level of international and national competition.