| Date of Birth:
December 5, 1982
Place of Birth: Red Deer, AB
Residence: Canmore, AB
Years on National Team:
One of Canada's rising young winter stars, biathlete Zina Kocher will be someone to watch in Turin 2006. A native of Red Deer, Alberta, Kocher first made a splash in biathlon in 1998 when she competed in the Alberta Winter Games.
However, it wasn't until two years later, when she moved to Canmore, Alberta that she really got serious about the sport. She joined the famed Rocky Mountain Racers, an elite Alberta-based program that has also produced National Biathlon Team members Robin Clegg and David Leoni, and has never looked back.
After joining the National Junior Team, she really began to turn heads with 14th, 11th and 18th place finishes in the 12 km Individual races respectively at the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Junior World Championships.
In 2003, she also competed in the Senior World Championships finishing in 54th place in the 15 km Individual race against the world's best. As a rookie on the World Cup senior circuit during the 2003-04 season, Kocher picked up an impressive five Top-30 finishes. In 2004-05, she had three Top-20 results, including 16th and 17th place finishes on the Cesano San Sicario course in Italy - site of the Turin Olympic course in 2006.
Kocher appears to be rounding into form at just the right time after starting the 2005-06 season off with a best ever-13th place finish in a 7.5 km Sprint event at a World Cup race in Austria. On the eve of the 2006 Games, the stars look to be aligning perfectly for the Olympic rookie.
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2006 Biathlon Coverage