From John Burridge - Trustee of Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust and Biathlon New Zealand Life Member:
I am writing this now that my heart rate is almost back to normal having watched Campbell shed a tear as the NZ national anthem played for the first time at an International Biathlon Union event of any shape or size before. Tonight the Wright Campbell turned up and left the starting block looking all business. He shot clear at the prone shoot and had a small time advantage based on his ski speed. There was then no other signs of Campbell's progress until he appeared back in the range to shoot standing. Each shot was high stress for we viewers as a missed shot would mean a drop down on the podium finish but shoot clear and the gold was in prospect. He shot clean and then there was an agonising wait to see the time at the final split and the finish and then checking the results of those likely to challenge. The excitement was continuous as other challengers missed the odd shot.
Campbell's finish was emotional and clearly he had given everything in the last part of the course. I have never seen him that spent at the end of a race or as emotional. He cried as he leaned over a barrier and had clearly given it all he had. He made that clear in later interviews prior to the medal ceremony. He also made it very clear he was stoked and those watching were beyond stoked. He knew he blew the race the previous year and was not sure if he could reach the podium at World Juniors. He even claimed he did not remember today's standing shoot but we certainly did. He asked to send messages to his parents and siblings but also a special mention of Mary Lee the former owner of the Snow Farm and the reason this was possible incredible as it seems.
The podium was unreal with Campbell receiving his gold medal from the Kazakhstani officials with the lady helpers dressed in National costume and the playing of the NZ National Anthem. Campbell cried during the anthem and those of us watching including Mary Lee shed a tear with him. He reserved a big hug for his USA training companion who took the bronze medal.
Campbell Wright 23.38.9 NZ
Jan Gunka +35.4 Poland
Maxime Germain +46.6 USA
Einar Hedegard +52.6 Norway
Nevland Martin +1.02.4 Norway
Benjamin Menz +1.02.6 Germany