Employee Spotlight: Olympic Hopeful, Timothy Cunningham

Tim is one of our newer team members at TMS and he is a 2026 Olympic Hopeful for the Biathlon. Tim has been training day in and day out to make this dream a reality. Find out about his training regimen and where it all began.

Staff Highlight Tim

Where It All Began

I’m originally from New Hampshire and moved out to Truckee in May of 2021. I grew up hating XC-skiing. In fact, I didn’t do any endurance sports until the first year of high school at Kearsarge Regional when I did cross country because… of… some reason, I’m sure. Turns out I wasn’t awful, and the nordic coach asked me to try nordic skiing. Growing up in the “live free or die” state had me in a good place to learn how to respect and shoot rifles, which is important to know because I was won over by the promise there would be biathlon races during the season. Had I known the half-lie was that we did a single paintball biathlon race and not a real race with real rifles that shoot straight, I maybe would have thought about not trying it out. At any rate, I started then I fell more than anyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and have loved it for the past 8.37 years.

Getting into Competition & the Olympic Dream

I started competing immediately. I trained with my high school team for three weeks before my first race in Gunstock, NH. I ran my fastest 5K in 19:07 my first year in the sport, just two months before this race. I took 15-ish minutes to ski 3K that day. There is a huge story that needs to be told to understand my psyche and work ethic. To summarize, being the worst at anything is a huge motivation for me to get better. Well, being bad and being told by my mom I had to at least finish the season inspired me about equally. I pushed through the season and to the surprise of many, ended up again being not awful. I qualified for the under-16 New England ski championships and held my own against the rest of the region “fairly” well. I still sucked at the sport then, but I was hooked on the skier’s high and wanted to get serious about my training.

At heart, that was when I wanted to go to the Olympics.

I started skiing for a club team called Ford Sayre, where I continued to progress at a rapid rate and compete against kids who had been skiing a decade longer than I had. Because of this I became one of the best skate skiers in the state, skied at two New England Championships, and only just missed Junior Nationals twice. This put me in a great position to accomplish my first goal of skiing in college, which is also when I finally got the chance to start biathlon officially.

Staff Highlight Tim

Moving to the Next Level

My senior year I got accepted to Saint Lawrence University, which had phenomenal access to the Lake Placid Olympic venue where the national biathlon team trained. I raced at the 2017 North American Rollerski Biathlon Championships and won the national title in both youth races. In December of 2017, I attended my first Junior World Championships trials races in Mt. Itasca Minnesota. I shot horribly, missing 14 out of 20 targets over two races, but skied very well and qualified as the second to last pick for the men’s team. I next raced in Europe and ended up being the top American on the results sheet in the 15K individual. Since that time, I’ve won two more national titles as a junior at Jericho over the summer, competed at NCAAs, and decided to pursue the sport of biathlon professionally post-college.

Current Training Regimen

I currently train 11 times a week over six days (taking Mondays off completely). Training professionally is a full-time job, even though only 12-25 hours of each of my weeks this past year were spent actively sweating more water than Truckee would receive from rain all summer.

To make it to the Olympics is a matter of annually increasing my training volume (hours trained a week), by roughly 10-15% each year to get faster, fitter, and hopefully qualify for international races and national teams. The fine balance comes in balancing the stress of making and spending money sustainably, while still training hard, recovering effectively, not getting sick, and being human enough to live a fulfilling life with a romantic partner and friends.

Staff Highlight Tim
Summer Biathlon Training

Future Goals, Olympic related, and otherwise

  • Increase training load a maximum of 10% a year. (Dropping to 5% as volume approaches 800-ish hours)
  • Progressively improve my results at trials races in Jericho VT and Soldier Hollow UT to qualify for:
    • The IBU Cup (consistently 8th-5th in the trials races) for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
    • The IBU World Cup (Top 4 in trials races) for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.
  • Not get sick, and not lose my love for the sport. The big goal in my pursuit of the Olympics is simply to get as fit as possible, as effectively and safely as possible, so I can live a long-life recreating outdoors.
  • Crush all local turkey trots for the rest of forever.
  • Build a giant leafy sponge to sequester all the carbon emissions in the atmosphere to ensure I accrue a Brobdingnagian amount of money for saving winter until 2026.

To get a better look into US biathlon you should follow the biathlon women on Instagram at USBiathlonWomen, my coach Brian Halliganon’s YouTube channel, and Paul Schommer on YouTube at BiathlonUncharted.

Enjoy the Olympics and I hope to see you out there!

Check out the current Olympic Biathlon standings here.

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