A New Jewish Olympian

Mazel tov to Laura Spector, who recently qualified as the youngest member of the U.S. Biathlon Team. Laura’s the daughter of my dad’s medical school roommate, and we’re awfully proud to have a connection, no matter how tenuous, to a real, live Olympic athlete. (And until talking until you’re blue in the face becomes a recognized sport, it’s as close as we’re gonna get around here.)

Though I’ve known what a biathlon since watching an 80s afterschool special starring Tracy Pollan as a winter athlete who gets kidnapped by some creepy Deliverance guys while training in the snowy backwoods, but here’s a little education for those of you who missed that one: A biathlon is any sport that involves two disciplines, but Olympically-speaking, it usually refers to a race that combines cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting.

Since Laura hails from chilly Massachusetts, I can understand the skiing part, but just how does a nice Jewish girl get involved with big guns? I don’t know, but maybe she’ll give me an interview when she’s returned from Canada, perhaps with a medal! Until then, here’s the Dartmouth student explaining her love of the sport to USA Today:

Cheer Laura and the rest of the American athletes on during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver next month — from the comfort of your sofa and with the convenience of your DVR, of course.

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