VANCOUVER - Her legs were burning and her lungs screaming, but Megan Imrie is thrilled to now be able to officially call herself an Olympian.
Imrie, the pride of Falcon Lake, was the first Manitoban to compete at the XXI Winter Olympics and finished 76th in the women’s 7.5 km biathlon sprint at Whistler Olympic Park.
"If this was a World Cup I wouldn’t be too pleased with the results, but I did everything I could to prepare and I tried my hardest so I can still have a smile on my face," said Imrie after posting a time of 23 minutes 17 seconds.
"I’ve been a little bit nervous the first couple of days but this morning I felt completely calm and at peace with being here and was totally ready for the big show."
Anastazia Kuzmina of Slovakia captured the gold medal with a time of 19:55.6 with Germany’s Magdalena Neuner finishing second at 19:57.1 while Marie Dorin of France grabbed the bronze with a time of 20:06.5.
"My legs felt a little bit heavy," said Imrie. "The conditions were extremely sloppy and wet which I was totally prepared for but it still affects the legs a little bit more than if the conditions were different. In the shooting, my prone shooting was excellent - very fast and precise.
"I just pulled the trigger a little too aggressively on my final shot. The standing shooting... I tried hard but my legs were shaking like a leaf."
In the 7.5 km sprint the women race three laps of a 2.5-km loop, stopping twice at the shooting range to take five shots at a target. A miss means and athlete must ski a lap around a 150-metre penalty loop.
Imrie will next compete on Tuesday in the women’s 10-km pursuit.
See Ed Tait's video profile of Megan Imrie: