PAUL SMITHS — Paul Smith’s College and U.S. Biathlon announced Monday that two student-athletes at the college have been named to the 2021 World University Games team.
Dolcie Tanguay, of Fort Kent, Maine, and Diego Schillaci, of New Paltz, will compete in Lucerne, Switzerland as members of the United States biathlon team. The Games are set for Dec. 11 to 21 in the Swiss city and the six cantons in the central region of the country. The event was previously delayed for 11 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are thrilled for Dolcie and Diego,” U.S. Biathlon President and CEO Max Cobb said in a statement. “The opportunity to compete with the top student biathletes from around the world is incomparable, and we know it will inspire them as well as being a tremendous educational experience. They will represent Paul Smith’s College and our country really well.”
Tanguay was among the athletes who officially opened the school’s biathlon range 13 months ago. It is the only on-campus range in the country. Together with the college’s expansive Nordic trail network, athletes don’t have to travel to get in a training session at the E. Philip Saunders Nordic and Biathlon Stadium, which launched in January last year.
“I am so excited to represent the U.S. at the World University Games,” Tanguay said in a statement. “It will be my first time competing in Europe, and I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible as well as getting to race in a new place. The Paul Smith’s College partnership with USBA gave me a chance to continue to competitively train for biathlon after I graduated from high school in addition to working towards an environmental science degree. The training opportunities at Paul Smith’s are incredible, and I can’t imagine a better place to combine sport and education.”
In just two years, Tanguay, 19, and Schillaci, 18, are among 26 Nordic and biathlon athletes representing eight states that are currently enrolled at the college.
“I am very excited for this opportunity through USBA and Paul Smith’s,” Schillaci said in a statement. “I have never been to a competition of this scale before, and I have no idea what to expect. I may be a bit nervous, but I’m going to try to take it one piece at a time and remember to try my best. I am looking forward to meeting people from all different cultures and backgrounds connected by this awesome sport.”
“Paul Smith’s College will be well represented at the World University Games by Dolcie and Diego,” Paul Smith’s native, four-time Olympian and the organization’s Director of Athlete Development Tim Burke said in a statement. “These races will be an excellent opportunity for both athletes to experience international biathlon racing with other student-athletes from around the globe. I’m sure this will be a motivating experience for both and a valuable stepping stone in their biathlon careers.”
Along with USA Nordic, the biathlon national governing body has forged an official relationship with Paul Smith’s College as part of the institution’s sport and education initiative. The World University Games also provides an international platform for the school in high-profile competitions that will be broadcast to a worldwide audience.
“It is incredibly rewarding to see Dolcie and Diego have this opportunity to represent the USA at what amounts to a world championship event for university athletes,” Paul Smith’s Nordic coach Matt Dougherty said in a statement. “Two years ago, we started this program for biathletes in the hopes we could help more athletes pursue both biathlon and a college education. To see athletes getting that opportunity two years in is incredibly special.
“I know both Dolcie and Diego will be great trailblazers for our program,” he added. “Not only athletically but as students and leaders, they are setting the model for the program at Paul Smith’s College as it continues to grow and gain momentum. I am equally excited for them and proud of them both.”
U.S. Biathlon and Paul Smith’s College have planneded for a similar type of participation when the World University Games come to Lake Placid in January 2023.