Olympic biathlete sitting in Squamish, dealing with whooping cough
A case of whooping cough spoiled Megan Tandy's World Cup biathlon plans and kept her grounded.
While her Canadian teammates were competing in Ruhpolding, Germany, Tandy was kept in quarantine in Squamish to prevent a possible outbreak that could have jeopardized the team's chances of being healthy for the Winter Olympics.
"I saw five doctors who said, 'It's just a cold,' and the doctor for the alpine team did a swab and figured it out," said Tandy. "We did a course of antibiotics for two weeks and I'm now back in action."
Tandy missed the races in Germany and will miss next week's World Cup events in Antholz, Italy, but there is a silver lining, with the Olympics less than a month away.
"It was too bad I couldn't go on the pre-Olympic World Cup tour because those race experiences give you a mental edge, but I'm not feeling too bad about it because there's also value in being here and having a strong training block," Tandy said. "Going into the Games, I have the opportunity to be completely relaxed with no jet lag. I'm at home getting great hours of training in to make up for time I wasn't able to train over Christmas. I'm going to be 100 per cent recovered and I'm excited."
After four days of steady rain, Tandy was skiing on 81 centimetres of fresh snow that got dumped overnight Saturday on the trails at Callaghan Valley where she's now based. Although the biathlon range is closed, there is a private range connected to Callaghan Valley that allows to practice shooting targets.
Tandy's absence has allowed Melanie Schultz, the spare member of the women's team, to gain some valuable World Cup experience.
Tandy, a 21-year-old World Cup rookie, posted her best-ever international result in December when she finished 21st at an individual race in Slovenia.
On Saturday, Zina Kocher of Red Deer finished 17th in a women's 12.5-kilometre mass start race in Ruhpolding, after posting a team-high 30th place result in Thursday's sprint. Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., was 77th (27:27.7) in the sprint, while Megan Imrie, of Falcon Lake, Man., was 94th.
Jean-Philippe Le Guellec, of Shannon, Que., was the lone Canadian in the men's 15-kilometre mass start race and finished 22nd.