The hits just keep rolling for Matthew Strum.
The Alpine Insurance AWCA’s lone biathlete strung together three solid races in North America before Christmas, which was enough to convince Biathlon Canada he had earned a trip overseas.
Strum made his first IBU Cup tour in three years, joining teammates Aidan Millar, Trevor Kiers, and Carsen Campbell on the men’s team. The IBU Cup is a feeder circuit for the World Cup, and includes many of the world’s top prospects in the sport.
In his first¬† IBU Cup race, Strum finished in the middle of the pack, placing 50th in the men’s sprint in Germany, while shooting 9/10. On Day 2, he shot clean and moved up to a very respectable 28th spot.
It’s been a breakout year for Strum, who is re-establishing himself as a top biathlon prospect for Canada, in his first year training with the Alpine Insurance AWCA.
“It’s been awesome to train with the Academy so far. It’s a good group of guys to ski with. We have university athletes, national team level and Olympians Dahria (Beatty) and Emily (Nishikawa). It’s really cool to train with them,” Strum said.
“After last year, my ski speed wasn’t great. I knew I needed to focus on it. I came to Chris Jeffries and said I wanted to work on that. We focused on building more power and developing an upper-body focus.”
He’s tried to recruit a few of his fellow skiers to biathlon, and even held a shooting day at the Sovereign Lake training camp this past summer.
“Most of them were shooting pretty well. Chris was able to hit 2/5 standing along with Emily, but the current team record is held by Amanda, who shot 3/5 standing,” Strum said. “I’m trying to recruit more skiers into biathlon.”