By Paul D. Bowker | March 18, 2018, 1:02 p.m. (ET)

Susan Dunklee celebrates after placing third in the 12.5-kilometer pursuit race on March 18, 2018 in Oslo, Norway.


Susan Dunklee saved her best for the end of the season.

Dunklee, a two-time Olympic biathlete, capped off her 2017-18 world cup season on Sunday by earning bronze in a 12.5-kilometer pursuit race at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway.

The finish was her first podium finish of the world cup season and came just three days after she placed fourth in the 7.5K sprint.

“Being a biathlete is all about being resilient,” said Dunklee, whose best individual finish at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was 19th. “Being able to pick yourself up over and over again. I am so happy to have this payoff at the end.”

In her final world cup appearance of the 2017-18 season, she finished behind only Darya Domracheva of Belarus and Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia.

Dunklee was 29.5 seconds back of the winner, with two penalties. She finished strongly to grab the podium finish, at one point leaving the shooting range in ninth and more than 32 seconds off the lead.

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The bronze marked Dunklee’s fourth career individual world cup medal. The first three all came in sprint events. Dunklee also won a silver medal in the 2017 world championships for the first individual women’s world medal by an American and a world cup sprint in the single mixed relay with Lowell Bailey last season for the first team medal by U.S. biathletes in 23 years.

“My biggest emotion is gratitude,” Dunklee said. “It’s so gratifying to be here right now.”

Dunklee joined in an American celebration following the men’s relay Sunday. It was the final world cup race for four-time Olympians Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey. They finished seventh with Sean Doherty and Leif Nordgren.

The world cup schedule rolls on next week in Tyumen, Russia, but no Americans will compete. U.S. biathletes announced in February that they would boycott the final world cup event of the season.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.