Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan are first athletes to qualify for 2022 U.S. Olympic team

Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan
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Biathletes Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan became the first Americans to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday.

Dunklee and Egan earned their places on the Olympic team as the lone U.S. female biathletes to earn multiple individual top-12 World Cup or world championships finishes this season.

Egan was the lone U.S. woman to qualify for the remaining races at this weekend’s World Cup Finals, making it impossible for another American to overtake either her or Dunklee for Olympic qualification this early.

No U.S. male biathlete has earned multiple top-12 finishes this season, though it’s still possible at this weekend’s World Cup Finals.

The rest of the U.S. Olympic biathlon team — expected to be at least four athletes per gender — will be determined next season.

Dunklee, 35 and the most successful U.S. female biathlete in history, qualified for her third Olympics. Her best individual Olympic finish is 11th. She is the lone U.S. female biathlete with an individual world championships medal — silvers in 2017 and 2020.

Biathlon is the lone current Winter Olympic sport in which the U.S. hasn’t earned an Olympic medal for either gender.

Egan, a 33-year-old with a master’s degree in linguistics who speaks at least six languages, qualified for her second Olympics. Her top individual finish at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games was 61st. She is the top-ranked U.S. female biathlete for the second time in three years, placing 36th in the overall World Cup standings.

The U.S. will ultimately qualify more than 200 athletes across all sports for the Winter Olympics in Beijing with the rest of the team expected to be named next fall and winter.

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