Maxime Germain can proudly say he’s a World Junior Championship medalist.
Germain raced to a career-best third place as a junior in the 10-kilometer sprint on March 11 at the IBU World Junior Biathlon Championships March 11 in Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan.
Germain skied strong while only missing one of 10 targets to place 46 seconds behind the gold medalist from New Zealand and 11 seconds behind the silver medalist from Poland.
“Yesterday was one of those special days for the team,” said U.S. Biathlon Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke, a past Olympian, in a press release. “We knew coming into these championships that we had multiple athletes with medal potential, but it’s a whole other challenge to actually make that happen. Maxime did a fantastic job of attacking right from the start and keeping his composure on the range. He executed a near-perfect race to claim the bronze medal.”
Germain, now 21, was born in Juneau and spent much of his childhood in Chamonix, France. He returned to Alaska at age 15, graduated West Anchorage High School in 2019 and attended the University of Alaska Anchorage. He also represents the U.S. National Guard Biathlon Team and lists a club in Chamonix and the Anchorage Biathlon Club on his Team USA biography.
But Germain wasn’t done after the bronze medal. He concluded the championships on March 12 with fifth place in the 12.5K pursuit.
The results are even more remarkable considering that Germain struggled at his first senior IBU World Biathlon Championships the month before, placing 65th in the sprint and 94th in the individual race in Oberhof, Germany.
Germain also just had the honor of competing at the famed Holmenkollen World Cup biathlon races, placing 47th in the sprint and 45th in the pursuit.
Kazakhstan is not the first time Germain has excelled on the world stage. In 2020, he wasn’t considered a podium contender at the IBU World Youth Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. But he won bronze in the 7.5K sprint after placing 38th in the 12.5k individual race earlier at the event.
That bronze broke a four-year medal drought for U.S. skiers at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships.