Susan Dunklee becomes the new US biathlete to beat
Feb 17, 2:15pm EST
In the women’s 12.5-kilometer mass start event, Susan Dunklee placed 12th, recording the best-ever individual finish for an American woman in the Olympics.
However, it was not just her finish that was record-worthy. Merely competing in the event was notable, as it was the first time a US woman had done well enough in prior events to even qualify for the Olympic mass start.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Susan Dunklee
“Tonight was my first mass start qualification in two years, so I was really excited to even be in the running,” said Dunklee. “My ski speed has been so strong this week, I felt really confident going into the starting loop.
I’ve had some of my best results of the season this past week. It’s definitely not as high as it could have been. I think I realized I was seriously in contention in a few of those races, and that’s a cool thing to know,” she added.
In the 7.5-kilometer sprint on Day 2 of the Games, Dunklee’s 14th place finish matched the American Olympic record set by Joan Smith. Smith finished 14th in the 15k at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Winter Games. Today in the 12.5-kilometer mass start, Dunklee became the new US female biathlete to beat.