Germain wins surprise bronze at youth biathlon championships

February 11, 2020

Anchorage’s Maxime Germain wasn’t considered a podium contender at the recent IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

After all, the 18-year-old placed 38th at the opening event — the Youth 12.5K individual race — on Jan. 26.

And he’d placed 74th and 66th in the youth sprint at the IBU Championships the previous two years in Estonia and Slovakia.

But at the 7.5-kilometer youth sprint on Jan. 31, the unheralded Germain shockingly won the bronze medal after skiing strong and missing just one of his rifle shots. His time of 20:04 trailed the Czech silver medalist by just two seconds and was 11 seconds slower than the Russian champion. A total of 106 athletes from countries around the globe participated.

Germain was born in Juneau and spent much of his childhood in Chamonix, France. He returned to Alaska at age 15, graduated West Anchorage High School and now attends the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“I had a super good year training with my buddies in Alaska,” Germain said in a USA Biathlon article. “It was a super fun race. … I did not feel well today but I finished well so I’m happy.”

Germain’s bronze broke a four-year medal drought for U.S. skiers at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships.

U.S. coach and Olympian Tim Burke called Germain’s medal “icing on the cake” after seeing three of his racers achieve the best results of their careers.

On Feb. 2, Germain struggled on the range and wrapped up the championships with 32nd place in the 10K youth pursuit.