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Max Durtschi Wins Biathlon Gold as He Bids Adieu
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Friday, April 15, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

 Sun Valley native Max Durtschi recently won a gold medal in the US Men’s Sprint at U.S. Biathlon National Championships held in Lake Placid, N.Y. He finished well ahead of the pack, which included a mix of Olympians, U.S. National teammates and elite athletes from around the country.

 It was a triumphant end to a three-sport career, as Durtschi announced his retirement from the U.S. team this weekend.  He was honored, along with retiring teammates Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan and Leif Nordgren, during closing ceremonies.

 “It was fantastic to celebrate the end of my career in Lake Placid,” said Durtschi, who earned a six-year residency at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. “I am grateful for my time spent with teammates and staff past and present during my career.”

 Durtschi joined the U.S. National Biathlon Team in 2014 after a career as a professional cyclist with Slipstream Sports, Leopard – Trek and USA Cycling. He was also a member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) cross-country ski team.

 “Having a chance to compete internationally in three sports was a gift. I learned a tremendous amount from each discipline, and I am excited to apply those lessons to future challenges!” he said.

 Durtschi, who grew up in the Wood River Valley, attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience. He currently works as a medical research assistant at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Bioengineering. He will attend medical school in the fall.

Durtschi is a “road warrior,” according to Chris Mallory, the SVSEF Head Gold Coach.

Indeed, he’s rarely been in the United States over the past 12 years and, when he has, he’s been training and studying.

He carried the biathlon rifle of teammate Willie Neal, who was killed by a car while roller skiing in Maine, all over the world while competing, fulling a promise he made to Neal’s family. He also spread Willie Neal’s message regarding environmental awareness.

COVID and bad luck derailed his hopes of competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but he took it in stride.

 “I am thrilled to be embarking on a new adventure this coming year,” he said. “I am particularly excited to see what future athletes will achieve in the coming years. There is a lot of inspiring talent in the ranks, and I am certainly rooting for them!”

 

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