© Mitch MacDonald/The Guardian
Olympic biathlete Vita Semerenko, left, and her husband Andre, right, meet with Biathlon P.E.I.'s Steve Hale and competition organizer Lynn Boudreau during the Atlantic Cup 2 hosted at the Brookvale Nordic Centre during the weekend. Semerenko won a gold and bronze medal in biathlon events during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Ukranian visits Island competition
The world's biathlon community is like a small family, even if they are usually thousands of kilometres apart.
That's how Ukranian Olympian Vita Semerenko described the sport to P.E.I. athletes during a trip to the province this weekend.
"This is a great competition and to be able to see young people training, it's like being part of a small family," said Semerenko, who had her husband Andre translate for her throughout the weekend.
Semerenko came to P.E.I. as part of the Atlantic Cup 2, which was hosted by Biathlon P.E.I. at the Brookvale Nordic Centre during the weekend.
The P.E.I. cadets were also competing for the provincial championship.
Semerenko showed her medals to the athletes and spoke to them about her training in the Ukraine and life as an Olympic biathlete during Saturday night's banquet.
Semerenko won gold in biathlon relay and bronze in sprint during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She is preparing for the upcoming world championships.
Steve Hale, of Biathlon P.E.I., said Semerenko already had an influence on some of the province's athletes before the weekend.
The Olympian had previously competed in Presque Isle, Me., for the world youth and junior championships in 2006.
"Some of the athletes here actually went to Presque Isle and saw her compete then," said Hale, adding having Semerenko attend the Island event was a way to increase awareness of the sport. "Bringing in guests, who've experienced the highest level of competition, is a good opportunity for our athletes and it increases the profile of the sport."