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Levins chases Olympic dream

Rutland native taking aim at one of US Biathlon’s Olympic Team slots
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) - The 2021 US National Biathlon Rollerski Championships were held this weekend at the Camp Ethan Allen training center in Jericho. Many of the stars of past US Olympic teams were on hand, including Clare Egan and Susan Dunklee, the first two Americans to secure their spots in Beijing. But Team USA will likely be allotted at least two more spots at the Olympics on the women’s side, and one Vermonter hopes to claim one of them.

“It would mean a lot,” said Rutland native Chloe Levins. “We’re such a strong state in skiing and biathlon, Winter sport in general. It would solidify myself as a true Vermonter I think.”

Levins is one of the rising stars in the US biathlon program. She excelled for years at the junior level and earned her first trip to a senior World Championships last Winter in Slovenia. She says having Egan and Dunklee as local role models is a huge help.

“I have a lot of good athletes to look up to on our team alone,” Levins said. “Clare and Susan are real mentors for me. We train alongside together at national team camps and I live in Lake Placid where Clare trains as well. And so it’s really motivating to see a level of what could be.”

Levins is certainly making a name for herself on skis with a rifle in her hands, but you might know her better as a three-time high school medalist and former Vermont women’s amateur champion on the golf course.

“Yeah golf is on the backburner right now,” Levins said. “I still play recreationally. Unfortunately I couldn’t play in the state amateur this year. But you know, golf is a lifetime sport, so it’s not going anywhere. Right now, biathlon is my primary focus.”

All around, Levins had a pretty solid weekend in Jericho, earning a fifth place finish in Saturday’s pursuit and fourth spot in Sunday’s mass start. That could ultimately prove critical, as it served as the first in a series of qualifying events to help US Biathlon pick their team, but for now she’s just hoping it can help her build momentum with the Winter IBU season beginning in a few months.

“I don’t know if anyone tries to think about it since it’s still so far away, but of course it’s a goal of mine throughout my entire career to eventually make it to a Winter Olympic games,” Levins said. “I think it’s possible, but really the most important thing is just to take it one day at a time. And I’m really happy we got to get a racing experience done in the Summer and start getting into that groove before February comes around.”

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