Competing taking a toll on biathlete

By TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

Robin Clegg can’t wait to get to the Olympics.

But soon after, he might have to start thinking finding a life beyond biathlon. Would he consider staying in the sport competitively?

“Not if I want to stay married,” says Clegg, with a laugh. “To say my wife’s been ‘patient’ with me isn’t even the right word.”

A finance major through a correspondence course at Athabasca University in Alberta, Clegg jokes that maybe he’ll become a “stay-at-home dad.”

Wife Laura is a law student at the University of Alberta. They’ve been married nearly three years.

“Especially since the fall, we have to put a lot of effort into seeing each other,” says Clegg. “It’s tough on both of us, but we talk every day. She’s been very supportive.”

Clegg began skiing at the age of two in Yellowknife.

After moving to Ottawa, he started biathlon in 1995 under coach Don Mallett, winning two silver medals at the Canada Winter Games.

He took notice of the sport after Myriam Bedard won two gold medals at the 1994 Olympics.

“I had been a cross-country skier and her performance definitely got my attention,” says Clegg, who went to Grade 9 at Woodroffe and finished out his high school at Nepean High School.

He says he had a “pretty good idea” he’d make the Olympic team. But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing in recent months.

“I’ve been hung up with sickness,” says Clegg. “I had swine flu in the fall and I just never got better.”

He knows he’ll have support when he competes at the Olympics. His father Les lives on Vancouver Island. His mom Cindy and twin sisters Emily and Laurel will be on hand from Ottawa.

He won’t hear the applause, at least not much of it.

“We’re stadium-based. We race in some pretty big crowds,” says Clegg. “The noise became a big distraction, so I wear earplugs.

“But this is going to be awesome. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited, like a kid before Christmas.”

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