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Upcoming "Festival at Fort Kent" and U.S. Olympic biathlon team trials topic of UMFK community breakfast

November 18, 2005



The official poster for the upcoming "Festival at Fort Kent" U.S. Olympic Biathlon Trials. A community breakfast on the event will be hosted by the University of Maine at Fort Kent on December 2.

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a December 2nd community breakfast featuring a discussion on the upcoming TD Banknorth Festival at Fort Kent, which will be held at the 10th Mountain Ski Center December 29, 2005 through January 3, 2006.

The festival, which will draw the top biathletes in the United States, will serve as the qualifying event for the U.S. Team competing in the 2006 Biathlon World Cup and decide who will compete for the U.S. in biathlon at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy in February.

The community breakfast will feature an overview of the event presented by Nancy Thibodeau, event director, and will include details on the competitions, athletes, related events, organizational committee, need for volunteers and other information that people will need to know.

In her role as event director Thibodeau is responsible for directing and managing all aspects of event planning, programming and execution.

Earlier this year, she served as event director for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships. In 2004, Thibodeau was the assistant event manager for the very successful IBU Biathlon World Cup.

The Festival at Fort Kent will be the highlight of the U.S. domestic biathlon schedule this year. Approximately 40 athletes will be vying for the top spots in the four separate competitions.

The U.S. Biathlon Association will nominate the top four men - in addition to Jay Hakkinen who has already pre-qualified for Torino - and the top five women to Team USA. U.S. biathletes earned an extra start position during last year's World Cup season, giving the U.S. a larger team than competed in Salt Lake in 2002. This will allow the U.S. to enter five men and five women, while starting four of each sex in Torino.

In addition to Thibodeau's presentation on the TD Banknorth Festival at Fort Kent, breakfast attendees will also hear about the latest developments of the 10th Mountain Ski Club, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Fort Kent venue.

Board member Jeff Dubis and another of the individuals involved in the leadership team will speak about the current activity and resource development needs of the 10th Mountain Ski Center respectively.

The Maine Winter Sports Center modeled the Fort Kent facility after Lonesome Pine Trails and the Fort Kent Golf Course, as a community-based ski center, with a volunteer group responsible for the operations of the center.

MWSC funded the infrastructure that has been used to host world class competitions, and for the facility, which is available for training of athletes and for the general public.

Dubis, who serves as a forestry faculty member at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, will speak about the distinction between the Maine Winter Sports Center and the 10th Mountain Ski Club, as well as expand on the numerous ways in which the community can take advantage of the local facility and what it offers.

A yet unnamed member of the resource development committee for the 10th Mountain Ski Center, will speak about future development at the venue and resource development needs.

Tickets for the event, which will include a full breakfast buffet, followed by the presentations, are $8 (US funds) $10 (Canadian funds) and can be purchased through the university's Madawaska Alumni House by calling (207) 834-7557.

Deadline for reserving tickets is Monday, November 28.