Emily Dickson, who turns 25 years old this May, has been named as one of the eight athletes on Canada’s 2022 biathlon team, set to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing beginning on Feb. 4.
Dickson was born and raised in Burns Lake, and has spent the last 15 years and change rising up the ranks of Canadian winter sports. Now, all her hard work as a biathlete has paid off with a chance to compete on the world’s biggest stage.
“It really is a dream come true. I’ve been doing biathlon for 16 years now, which is a huge portion of my life given that I’m only 24. I can’t remember my exact age when the Olympic dream got its hold on me, but I know that by the time I was 13 I was already certain biathlon was something I wanted to seriously pursue, and the goal of being named to the Canadian Olympic Team one day was already a very distant target for me. To look back on it now, after more than a decade of commitment to the goal, it feels surreal to be able to say it’s finally a reality,” Dickson told Black Press.
“It’s been a long journey to get here. I feel she’ll really be able to deliver an amazing motivational speech about this someday especially when she shares the big setbacks over the past few years,” her mother Terri said.
Dickson competed in her first biathlon race in 2006, and won her first national championship medal [silver] in 2012. Later that year, she relocated from Burns Lake to Prince George to attend Pacific Sport’s Northern B.C. Sport School. She earned two golds, a silver and a bronze at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, and has been named to Biathlon Canada’s Junior, U24, and Senior National teams in her career.
She’s a 12-time national champion and a 26-time national medalist.
For Dickson, the chance to compete for a for her hometown is a driving force as she prepares for Beijing.
“Bringing a medal back to Burns Lake would be the greatest day of my life. I owe so much to the people of Burns Lake for the seemingly endless support I’ve received from them throughout my career. I’ve had my fair share of setbacks within my decade and a half of racing, and the community of Burns Lake and the surrounding area has always reached out to let me know they still believed in me, even through the tough times,” she said
“On top of that, I have also had a few financial supporters who have helped me cover the unfortunately high training & racing expenses that I incur pursing this sport at this level. All of this support has been invaluable and to be able to bring home a tangible success would be absolutely amazing,” Dickson continued.
Getting to this point has been a long road for Dickson, and she’s gotten help from a lot of places along the way.
“As an athlete, the dozens of coaches I’ve worked with have been incredibly instrumental in getting me to this point. Each one has influenced me and helped shape me into the athlete and person that I am today, and I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped me along this journey. My parents Bryan and Terri and two older sisters Allie and Kate have provided me with unwavering support from day one and there is simply no way I would be where I am in my career without them. Of course, I’d also love to thank everyone at the Omineca Ski Club in Burns Lake, the place where this all began for me,”
“She was just shy of her third birthday when she had her first race at Omineca,” said Terri. “She didn’t know she was supposed to ski fast, and thought everyone was judging her technique like they did in dance, so she posed for endless pictures that day. She crossed the finish line and asked how she had done. Such a great trip it’s been.”
A trip that Dickson hopes is far from over.
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