CALGARY - Perhaps not since Myriam Bedard dominated the biathlon scene with two gold medals in 1994 has Canada sent such an experienced squad to an Olympic Games in the sport.
Led by three-time Olympian Jean-Phillipe Le Guellec, from Shannon, Que., and Red Deer’s Zina Kocher, there aren’t many on the eight-member ski-and-shoot outfit who won’t have already tasted the Olympics when competition gets underway in Sochi.
Le Guellec, a former two-time world junior champion (’04), was the first Canadian male to win a World Cup event in biathlon (a gold in ’12 in Ostersund, Sweden), and had four top-15 finishes at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.
Kocher, meanwhile, is the only woman since Bedard to win a World Cup medal when she snagged a bronze in the individual 15-km race in Ostersund, in ’06.
Le Guellec and Kocher pose a solid one-two punch for Canada and will be banked on to lead the team with fast skis and steady shooting in Sochi in the field of 220 athletes.