Soldier Hollow • Norway’s Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen will never forget his first experience at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center.
On Friday afternoon, Christiansen won his first-ever world cup event at the BMW Biathlon World Cup stop here. The 26-year-old took gold in the men’s 10k sprint event, beating France’s Simon Desthieux and Germany’s Roman Rees. Christiansen finished second in the men’s individual event last weekend in Canada.
“Of course it’s unbelievable for me,” Christiansen said. “A lot of emotions. I’ve been doing biathlon since I was 6 years old, so you could say I waited 20 years for this moment. It’s been a lot of ups and downs on the way, but when I stand here as a winner, I forgot all the downs. I’m very happy.”
Desthieux had the best final lap of any skier Friday, allowing him to finish second.
“This track is very hard with altitude; it’s not easy and the ski condition was not the best today,” he said. “I started the race with not full gas in the beginning.”
Two-time Olympian American biathlete Sean Doherty finished 14th overall, the highest-placing U.S. athlete in Friday’s men’s sprint. The World Cup continues at Soldier Hollow this weekend as double-header pursuits start Saturday at 10:05 a.m. in Midway.