Update on Jason Ray, Biathlon athlete
On the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Development Team
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
December 21, 2007
Jason Ray is a member of the U.S. Olympic development biathlon ski team. He grew up in Daniel, Wyoming (about 11 miles west of Pinedale) and is in his second season on the development team, training to get a chance to compete in the next Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver, British Colombia. Biathlon is the combination of cross country ski racing and rifle marksmanship.
We profiled Jason last month in an article here on Pinedale Online and his hopes to get sponsors to help support his training and travel costs this season. At that time, he was getting ready to head to Canada to train and compete. We caught up with Jason again today and got an update on what he is doing.
The team was up in Canada for 2-1/2 weeks doing early season on-snow training before their first competition. He had some time trials where he did very well. The weekend of the race got extremely cold and most of the athletes got frostbite on their hands, feet and face, which affected their performance in the competition, so he didnít do as well in that as he would have liked, finishing in 10th place out of 25 competitors.
The next weekend the team came down and raced in West Yellowstone. He did very well there. He was the fastest senior man for the United States and came in 4th place overall.
Now he is back through the holidays doing some training. In January he will be doing some races here locally in the west, then off to Europe for some cup races to qualify for some world championships. Then they will be racing all of February and March on the east coast of the US and in Canada for the North American Championship series.
In March, they will go to the U.S. National Championships in Minnesota, followed by the Canadian championships in Vancouver, BC, which is the same venue which will be used for the Olympics in two years.
Jason is still looking for more sponsors for his training and travel expenses. The U.S. Olympic committee pays for his coaching as well as some lodging and wax supplies. He has to pay for his travel, food and part of his lodging, as well as his new gear each season which consists of skis, boots, poles, clothes, ski bags and other things. He has raised about half of the $13,000 he needs. He can use equipment sponsorships or cash donations. No donation is too small. Sponsor logos can go on his autographed sport trading cards he is having printed up and will take with him to hand out to fans while he is in Europe at ski races. There are also opportunities for decals on his rifle stock and harness, which will be seen on television while he races in Europe.
PO Box 96
Boulder, WY 82923
Interview with Jason by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online. Thank you to Bob Rule, KPIN 101.1 FM radio for processing the audio files.
Click on the links below for audio files of Jason giving an update and talking about sponsorship opportunities, as well as earlier stories about him.