Biathlon athlete Campbell Wright has been named to the New Zealand Team for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The 17-year-old from Lake Hawea is the first athlete to be selected to the team, which will contest the Games from January 9th to 22nd.
Wright will compete in both the 7.5km sprint distance and the 12.5km individual distance at the Games.
“I’m pretty happy to say the least, it’s going to be awesome to be part of the New Zealand Team and I can't wait to compete in Lausanne,” said Wright.
Above: Campbell Wright
Biathlon combines the power of cross-country skiing and the precision of rifle shooting in a timed race, where missed shots in the shooting component result in distance or time penalties.
Wright, a student at Mount Aspiring College, began cross country skiing at a young age and started competing in biathlon in 2017.
“I liked cross country skiing and so my coach Luca Boromilili basically just said why don’t you have a go at biathlon and it went from there.”
"I'm stronger at the skiing so I'm working hard to improve my shooting. The trick is not to overcook yourself before you get to the range, you need to chill and get your heart rate down before you start trying to hit the targets."
Wright spends the European winters training in Italy and competing around Europe.
When in New Zealand he trains at Snow Farm and says he gets a real buzz from the sport.
“I love it, it’s definitely unique and I get a pretty awesome feeling when I’m out there doing it.”
Wright was named Snow Sports New Zealand cross country skier of the year in 2016. Earlier this year, he placed third in his age group at the Alpencup in Ridnaun, Italy. It was the first time a New Zealand biathlon athlete had ever podiumed at a major European biathlon event.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to Wright.
“Campbell has put in a lot of hard work to reach this point, he leaves for Italy later this week and will be continuing to train rigorously in the build-up to the Games.
“We look forward to seeing him represent New Zealand in Lausanne in January.”
Angus Cagney has been conditionally selected as a non-travelling reserve.
Around 15 New Zealand athletes are expected to compete at Lausanne 2020. 11 New Zealand athletes competed at the previous edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with four of those athletes going on to compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.