McCall teen trains for Winter Olympics biathlon competition

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 20:38:38-04

Spring may be on many people's minds right now but for one Idaho teenager, the colder the weather the better.

The biathlon, the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, is what 17-year-old Ariana Woods is focused on. She has aspirations to one day represent the United States at the Winter Olympics.

When she's not training and competing back East, Woods is at home in McCall where she first learned how to ski. She's been skiing ever since she could walk.

But, it's only been over the last few years that she picked up a rifle, aiming for the chance to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

"I love it so much because after doing the skiing for so many years, I tried out the biathlon and was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is so much deeper than just the Nordic skiing,'" she said.

Since working toward becoming a professional athlete of which requires a lot of traveling, Woods knows getting a good education is still key to her future. She stays connected with Treasure Valley teachers as a junior at the Idaho Virtual Academy.

One day, she hopes to be a marine biologist or marine photographer.

For now, Woods has her sights set on the national biathlon competition at the end of March.

"When I'm skiing, I just feel so good and it separates me from all the craziness going on in the world," Woods said. "It's refreshing and then I go into the shooting and it keeps my brain moving at a decent rate so I'm not just out there cluelessly skiing around. So, it's something to focus on."