March 28, 2017 (Portland, Maine) – Auto Europe CEO, Imad Khalidi, announced today a partnership between his global car rental company, Outdoor Sport Institute (OSI) and the U.S. Biathlon Team at the Press Hotel in Portland, Maine. This new deal will provide support for OSI’s, formerly Maine Winter Sports Center’s, highly successful Biathlon Development Program; a program that has produced 15 Olympians and Paralympians in its first 17 seasons, including recent world champion Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.).
Bailey, an alumnus of OSI, became the first American to win a world championship in biathlon when he took the gold in the 20-kilometer individual race in Hochfilzen, Austria in February. He was on hand to offer his perspective on this new announcement.
“OSI was there for me when there was no other coaching and training support available,” said Bailey. “That support allowed me to make my first Olympic Team in 2006 and go on to the National Team. It was the bridge that allowed me to continue my career. I’m excited about this new partnership because it means other kids in Maine will be able to chase their biathlon dreams too.”
This new partnership adds Auto Europe to OSI’s best-in-class family of Maine brands, including L.L.Bean, Emera Maine, the Press Hotel and Inn of Acadia.
“Our transition from the Maine Winter Sports Center name to Outdoor Sport Institute was to reflect the fact that we are a year-round, statewide organization and committed to making a difference in people’s lives through our curriculum of empowerment,” said Andy Shepard, president, CEO and founder of OSI. “While we are not just a winter organization, we are still very proud of our winter programs and this partnership with Auto Europe will ensure we can continue to offer our world-class coaching and support to aspiring biathletes in Maine.”
This deal will also include support for the U.S. Biathlon Team’s travel needs as they compete in Europe. Bill Burke, chairman of the U.S. Biathlon board of directors said, “OSI has been an important part of the development program for the U.S. Biathlon Team for a long time. Having a world-class company like Auto Europe join our team will give every kid in Maine a shot at their Olympic Dreams.”