Kelly Kjorlien

Kelly Kjorlien

Bridger Biathlon Club Elite Team 

We all want to know more about Kelly – tell us about yourself! How you made your journey west to Bozeman, what you enjoy doing in your spare time, etc.

I like to tell folks that I ended up in Bozeman because I started driving west and stopped when I hit mountains. The real answer is that I came here to go to school at MSU and train with a few of my fellow biathlon junior national teammates. I’ve spent the last seven years here learning how to keep up with my friends in the mountains on foot, skis and bike, but lately my inner Norwegian grandmother has been utilizing my free time to knit sweaters and make sourdough bread.

You recently switched over from coaching young athletes with Bridger Biathlon Club to becoming one of the athletes themselves. How did you first get into this sport? What’s the switch been like to training full time?

Winter sports are a pretty crucial part of life where I grew up in northern Minnesota. I spent middle school and high school training and racing with my high school nordic team and the local biathlon club, Mt. Itasca Biathlon. After racing with the junior national biathlon team for three years, I decided to take a step back from racing and focus on school. A few years into my ‘retirement’ I had the great opportunity to start coaching with Bridger Biathlon. The community surrounding BBC is incredibly energetic and motivated, and it has been really fulfilling to watch these kids grow in the sport over the last three years. Since they know me as a coach it keeps me accountable. I have to live up to everything I’ve told them for the last few years. What it really boils down to is I love being an athlete, especially in this community.

You’ve been quite involved in growing the new Crosscut Mountain Sports Center! Tell us about your roll and involvement with it and how you hope to see it grow.

When I first got involved with Bridger Biathlon, the founders of BBC and Crosscut were embarking on a capital campaign to purchase the land that would become the site of an ambitious community mountain sports center. The energy surrounding this project has been contagious. I’ve been lucky to be involved in the milestones of acquiring the land, expanding the trails and running the nordic center for the first year of operation. Crosscut has already achieved so much in preserving 533 acres in Bridger Canyon for community recreation, and they have big plans to grow with this valley. I’m honored to be a part of the Crosscut family and have it as my home venue.

Word association game….first thing that comes to mind:

Mountain biking: I wish I could replace rollerskiing with mountain biking
Tacos: Tricerataco- look it up, you need one.
The Mountain Project: the most fun you’ve ever had working out at 6am
Cardi B: QUEEN.
Bridger Bowl: you bbowl slidin? see you there

You’ve been coming to TMP for quite some time now. How would you describe the coaches and the environment here?

I absolutely love the vibe at The Mountain Project. Every time I’m there I have a great interaction with someone. All of the coaches are energetic, knowledgable and invested in creating a fun and welcoming space for everyone. I never particularly liked strength training before, but since becoming a part of TMP I genuinely look forward to it. When I’m out of town for training camps and races I can’t wait to get home and see my gym family again.

You’re going to Wild Crumb and you can only get one thing – what do you choose?!

This is my struggle every time I step foot in Wild Crumb… it would have to be the ham and cheese croissant, warmed up. With coffee of course.