As a NCAA Champion and seven-time All-American cross-country skier at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Joanne Reid found her love for the sport ending abruptly in 2014. After some time away from the sport Reid had found her new love when her grandfather’s biathlon rifle was passed down.

“In my possession, quite suddenly, was the means to embark on a new journey,” Reid said in an interview with Buffzone, on Feb. 3.

Just last July Reid’s Olympic Biathlon hopes almost came to an end as she was diagnosed with paroxysmal super ventricular tachycardia (SVT), a non life-threatening heart disease. Although most people live with the disease and don’t notice a ton of affects for Reid the disease could have been career ending. Reid recalls moments when her heart rate would reach 220 bpm making it nearly impossible for her to have a steady hand when shooting, not to mention succeed at the aerobic aspect of the sport.

Reid understands that with all she has had to deal with over the past year that she may not be in her best form but she is handling it calmly, telling Buffzone, “I’m just going to go out there and do what I’ve been taught to do: Ski fast, and shoot at the middle of the black dots. I can’t get any faster or better between now and then, so I’m just going to enjoy the ride and see what happens.”

After a handful of procedures and months of recovery Reid finds herself back in action this Saturday looking to continue on her collegiate success as well as add to the family history. Joanne Reid is now the third member of the family to participate in the Olympics although her mother, Beth Reid, and uncle, Eric Heiden, both competed in speedskating. In 1980 Beth won a bronze medal while Eric was a five-time gold medalist in speedskating.

With plenty of success and accomplishments between herself and her family Joanne will go into PyeongChang competition with the experience she needs to overcome her difficult year and have a successful winter Olympics.

Feature Image Provided by U.S. Biathlon