35-year-old Lowell Bailey is the veteran on the US Biathlon team with a World Cup career that started back in 2002. Bailey’s resume now includes almost 300 World Cup starts, three Olympic Winter Games and ten IBU World Championships. He grew up and still lives in Lake Placid, New York, home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games, so cross-country skiing and eventually biathlon were easy to embrace. Unlike many biathletes take university courses part-time or on-line, Bailey put biathlon on the back burner for three years after missing the 2002 US Olympic team to go to the University of Vermont full-time and compete collegiately in cross-country. Although a focused and dedicated biathlete, Bailey is also a passionate musician who plays mandolin and guitar in several bands and has been featured in several IBU TV videos. “Biathlon is not a normal life, nor is music. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum… at the end of the day; my balance is established through music.” December 2016 was one of the best months of his career with two clean shooting days and a ninth place in the Nove Mesto mass start. His only career World Cup podium came in the 2014 Kontiolahti sprint but continues to strive for another “perfect day” and another podium. Bailey, one of the few left-handed shots on the World Cup circuit is known for his easy going attitude and fast skiing.
Thoughts from Lowell
On biathlon: “Some days it seems like the easiest sport in the world and some days, it is the hardest thing you have ever done.”
Music and biathlon: “I’ve been lucky enough to have some great experiences within biathlon with music, around the world; I am humbled that people enjoy what I have to give in terms of music.”
Motivation: No one can truthfully say that it is as easy to maintain your 100% motivation when you at the bottom of the results as when you are battling for the top 15. Competing with the top guys every week is great motivation.”
Success: “It is tough to make it in music; it is tough to make it in biathlon! You have to know your boundaries: what your professional life is, which for me, is biathlon and what is your extracurricular life, which is my music.”
Goals: “Anything in life that you do must be fulfilling. You cannot base your life on: did I place in the top 10 today or did I win an Olympic medal? The second you start doing that results-based fulfillment, you will be disappointed.”