Winter Games Athletes
Shipulin will be buoyed by the home crowd as he makes his second straight Olympic appearance. A four-time medalist at the world championships, Shipulin was an unproven youngster at the Vancouver Games and did not have a finish higher than 20th in any of his four individual events, although he helped Russia capture the bronze in the men’s relay. Considered one of the world’s most accurate shooters as well as one of the quickest biathletes to get through the range, Shipulin turned in a solid world championships this past year. He earned a silver in the mass start and bronze in the pursuit while finishing seventh in the sprint. Shipulin excels in relay events but won’t be able to take part in the inaugural Olympic mixed relay with sister Anastasiya Kuzmina, the reigning Olympic world champion in the sprint event. That’s because Kuzmina competes for Slovakia. Shipulin has finished in the top 10 each of the last three seasons in the IBU rankings.