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UMFK PROFESSOR, FOUNDATION DIRECTOR, TO LEAD TRIP TO ITALY FOR WORLD CUP BIATHLON EVENT

January 11, 2008

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Organizers and officials will observe competition as training for 2009 event at Fort Kent’s 10th Mountain Ski Center 

University of Maine at Fort Kent Forestry instructor and Fort Kent resident, Jeff Dubis, and 10th Mountain Event Director, Nancy Thibodeau, a director of the UMFK Foundation, will lead an eight-person entourage that travels to Antholz, Italy next week to witness – firsthand – biathlon officiating and organizing at the International Biathlon Union World Cup event in the Italian Dolomite mountains. 

Dubis, who will be the chief of competition at the 2009 IBU Biathlon World Cup at the 10th Mountain Ski Center, March 12-15, 2009, and Thibodeau, will be joined by six other officials from the St. John Valley who are part of the local organizing committee for next year’s event in Fort Kent.   

The St. John Valley contingent will include: Paula Bouchard, competition secretary, from Fort Kent; Kathy Mayo, project manager, from Winterville; Darla Nesbitt, chief of range, from Fort Kent; Tom Pelletier, television broadcast coordinator, from Eagle Lake; Glenn Saucier, chief of range, from Wallagrass; and Jeff Spencer, chief of course, from St. Francis. 

Other members of the competition group, who are not traveling to Italy, are: Paul Grant, chief of timing, from St. John Plantation; and Allan Dow, chief of stadium, from Fort Kent.  

To prepare for the 2009 World Cup event, Dubis and the other members of the committee will be at the Antholz-Anterselva World Cup competition site to observe officiating and other aspects of running an IBU World Cup event, alongside counterparts performing similar roles to the ones that the local organizers will perform next year in Fort Kent.

Antholz is consistently ranked among the top three biathlon hosting venues on the World Cup international circuit.      

The group’s primary goal is to learn as much as it can from one of the premier World Cup sites in Europe.  The contingent from 10th Mountain will observe the organizing committee, the competitions, and the local festivities in Antholz, bringing back ideas and improvements to their own event planning for 2009. 

The IBU returns to Fort Kent in 2009 after a much-ballyhooed 2004 World Cup event.  The 2009 event at the Maine Winter Sport’s 10th Mountain Ski Center will be the only U.S. venue on the IBU’s 2008/09 schedule.   

Dubis, who served as chief of course at the 2004 event, will have overall responsibility of the competition aspects for next year’s return engagement competition.  

The 2009 event is expected to host nearly 300 world-class athletes and coaches, draw hundreds of spectators to the St. John Valley, and capture a world-wide television audience for the three-day competition.