The countdown is on as Aroostook County will host the 2016 International Biathlon Union World Cup. At a press conference in Mars Hill (April 17) today, officials announced the dates and early details for when the world’s top biathletes will converge on northern Maine for the eighth in a series of nine stops on the 2015-2016 circuit. Aroostook County is the only stop in the USA.

This will be the first Biathlon World Cup to come to U.S. since 2011, when it was last held in Aroostook County. The IBU World Cup 8 will be hosted by the Nordic Heritage Sport Club at their world-class Nordic ski and biathlon venue with competition dates planned for February 11 through 14, 2016.

“Our club is very excited to again be hosting an international event of such caliber at the Nordic Heritage Center,” said Paul Towle, president of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club. “Events such as these provide significant exposure not only for our world-class facility, but also for our County communities and the State of Maine."

Jane Towle, event director for the 2016 International Biathlon Union World Cup said that upwards of 300 of the world’s top male and female biathletes, ages 20 and over, from more than 32 countries are expected to be in Aroostook County for the competition. The biathletes will participate in six competitions: sprint, pursuit, and relay in both men’s and women’s divisions.