Brendan Weber

Palo Alto's Joanne Reid Makes Olympic Debut in Biathlon

About two years and two months ago, Palo Alto's Joanne Reid competed in her first biathlon. This weekend, she battled on the world's grandest stage in the event that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

Reid, who grew up in the Peninsula city and attended Gunn High School, competed in the 7.5km sprint at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, but it didn't turn out as she would have hoped.

"That was actually the worst I have ever shot percentage wise," Reid said after the event. "So I decided to wait until this race to make that happen for everyone, so that was a bit of a bummer, but you know what, some days you shoot at the targets and they just don't go down."

Reid was an elite cross-country skier in college, but she decided to give up the sport after school.

When her grandfather was later diagnosed with Alzheimer's, everything changed.

As a standard precaution, weapons were removed from Reid's grandfather's home. One of those weapons happened to be a biathlon rifle that Reid eventually got her hands on.

Reid decided to give the sport a try. Within a matter of years, she has found herself competing with the world's best.

Despite Reid's disappointing finish in the 7.5km sprint, she will return to take part in the 15km event.

Before that next test, Reid could pick the brains of some of her famous family members. Reid's mother was a bronze medalist in speedskating during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Her uncle, Eric Heiden, grabbed five gold medals at the same running of the Olympics in Lake Placid.

To watch Garvin Thomas' story, click here

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