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Two Dozen Canadians Seek Summertime in Bend

Ivan Babikov (l) and Jesse Cockney during a bounding/trail running workout near Bend, Ore. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

The Canadian World Cup Team and about 23 training-centre skiers ventured south to Bend, Ore., in late June for a 12-day camp that was more about finding good pavement than snow. “We felt like it was the best place for an all-around camp with a big group,” coach Justin Wadsworth says.

Extirpé de L’ombre: Yves Bilodeau, Technicien en Chef de L’équipe Canadienne

Former Canadian National Team member Yves Bilodeau racing in Calgary. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Nous avons joint Bilodeau à sa demeure savoyarde, battue derechef par une forte pluie contraignant le passionné de pêche à délaisser temporairement le Rhône. L’homme revient avec humour sur ses débuts en 1995, nous présente ses compagnons d’armes oeuvrant au sein de l’équipe canadienne et se prononce sans détour sur les déconvenues de Sochi.

After Two Home Olympics, Gaiazova Transitions to Next Phase of Her Life

An excited Dasha Gaiazova at the women's 0.85 k World Cup classic sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Canadian was fourth for a career best and narrowly missed the podium in a photo finish. (Chandra Crawford photo)

Dasha Gaiazova was on the fence about continuing her ski career after the 2014 Olympics.The Russian-born Canadian had competed at back-to-back home Olympics, and in May, she wasn’t named to Canada’s World Cup or senior development teams. “I felt like I wanted to keep racing,” she recalled. “The team got announced and I didn’t get on the team, and I was like, I gotta think about some things.”

CCC’s New President, Jamie Coatsworth Talks Business and the Board’s Role

In his first week as president/chair of Cross Country Canada, Jamie Coatsworth — a longtime financial supporter of Canadian nordic skiing — talks about the position and how he ended up filling the vacancy left by Richard Lemoine. “Sort of looking up around the room, I spoke to some of the other board members,” Coatsworth said. “And I said somebody’s gotta do it.”

Post-Retirement, Crawford Hits the Books Hard, Gets into Calgary’s MBA Program

Fast and Female founder/president Chandra Crawford retired from competitive-nordic racing this spring after 14 years in the sport (and five more in biathlon). She was recently accepted into the University of Calgary's business school. (Photo: Chandra Crawford/ http://chandracrawford.com/ive-never-met-anyone-so-excited-to-write-the-gmat-before/)

Chandra Crawford stuck with skiing long after winning gold as a U23 at the 2006 Olympics because she remembered when Beckie Scott and Sara Renner explained “it would take ten years to get good.” She committed, and after three Olympics, Crawford, 30, retired from the sport to pursue higher education — cutting right to the chase with an MBA to better serve Fast and Female.

Canada’s Newest Coach, Tor-Arne Hetland Gets Dose of Canadian Ski Life at Sunshine Camp

Tor-Arne Hetland, Swiss sprint coach from 2010-2014 (Photo: FIS) http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/news-multimedia/news/article=tor-arne-hetland-nor-become-world-cup-team-coach-for-canada.html

Tor-Arne Hetland is officially part of the Canadian crew after wrapping up his first training camp with the Canadian World Cup Team in May. Onboard since April, he says he’s eager to give the perspective and stability that Cross Country Canada wants. “It is asked for new ideas into the team and I’m ready to give this,” Hetland says. “And also more stability in the World Cup.”

Wadsworth on Coaching, Development Changes: ‘The Main Thing is to Get Our Country to Work Together’

Canada's Head Coach Justin Wadsworth was giving out splits during the men's 15 k freestyle pursuit at the World Cup Finals in March in Falun, Sweden.

In an interview on Friday, Canadian head coach Justin Wadsworth discussed how he will work with Tor Arne Hetland in the coming year for Canmore-based World Cup athletes – “I’ve already had fun talking training with him” – and the other part of his new job, getting the national training centers aligned with the World Cup team to improve the development pipeline.

Cross Country Canada Unveils New Coaching Leadership Structure

Cross Country Canada coaches Justin Wadsworth (l) and Louis Bouchard will continue to lead the Canadian cross-country ski team at the national and World Cup levels. (Photo: Cross Country Canada/Twitter)

Cross-Country Ski de Fond Canada (CCC) has changed its leadership structure in an effort to ramp up for the 2018 Winter Olympics, with Justin Wadsworth overseeing all national-team programs and training centres, and Louis Bouchard and Tor-Arne Hetland as World Cup Team coaches.

Wadsworth Says Nothing’s Final on Hetland, Rest of CCC Team-Staffing Decisions

Justin Wadsworth’s not sure how it got out there, but he said incorrect information reached the press on Tuesday regarding the Canadian World Cup Team’s coaching and waxing staff for the 2014/2015 season.

Canadian National Team Changeup: De Nys No Longer Women’s Coach, Starts Junior Program

Coach Eric Denys and Sara Renner at SilverStar, spring '09

Canadian Women’s World Cup Coach Eric de Nys is in the process of starting a new junior-training program in Canmore after parting ways with the national team. “With the World Cup team being what it will be next year, it just can’t justify having that many coaches there,” he says. “We had to do some restructuring and part of that was eliminating a job.”

Ammar Gets Coveted Gold at Canadian Nationals in 30 k Classic; Babikov Tops Sandau in 50 k

The junior men's 30 k classic mass start on the last day of Canadian Nationals last Saturday in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

Canadian Nationals came to a close last Saturday, with Ivan Babikov rolling to a 41-second victory over Kevin Sandau in the 50 k classic and Amanda Ammar notching a coveted senior title with a 54-second win over Emily Nishikawa in the 30 k at Blow Me Down Trails.

Gaiazova, Graham Nishikawa Finally Champions in Canadian Nationals Skate Sprints

Katherine Stewart-Jones (Nakkertok) pulls away from the pack in the junior women's A-final on Thursday in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She went on to win the freestyle sprint for her third national title.

Dasha Gaiazova beat out fellow Canadian World Cup teammate Perianne Jones to the line to win Thursday’s freestyle sprint A-final for her first victory of the week at Canadian Nationals. Paralympic guide Graham Nishikawa overcame jet lag for his first senior-national title.

Babikov Back in Canada, Winning Nationals; Widmer Tops Women’s 10 k

Scott Hill (NDC Thunder Bay/NST) racing to his second-straight individual junior title at Canadian Nationals on Tuesday in the 15 k freestyle in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

At Canadian Nationals on Tuesday, Ivan Babikov pulled out an 18.4-second victory of Paralympic gold medalist Graham Nishikawa, both of which were fresh off the plane from Europe and Russia, respectively. Heidi Widmer notched another national title as well.

Emily Nishikawa, Cockney Canadian National Champs in Classic Races

The senior women’s 5 k classic interval start podium on Sunday at Canadian Nationals with winner Emily Nishikawa (AWCA/NST), Dasha Gaiazova (NST) in second and Amanda Ammar (Team Ninja) in third. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Zeke Williams of the Alberta World Cup Academy reports from 2014 Canadian Nationals in Newfoundland, interviewing the winners of Sunday’s short-distance classic men’s and women’s races.

Harvey Third Overall in the World Cup; Sundby Wins Pursuit

6.03.2014, Falun, Sweden (SWE): Alex Harvey (CAN)
- FIS world cup cross-country, 15km men handicap start, Falun (SWE). www.nordicfocus.com. © Felgenhauer/NordicFocus.

Alex Harvey started Sunday’s 15-kilometer freestyle pursuit in Falun, Sweden, with one thing on his mind: a first- or second-place finish would put him on the overall World Cup podium. “I’m super stoked,” said Harvey of his podium. “That was a super-nice way to end the season.”

Double Gold for Canada on Last Day of Paralympics: Klebel Gets First Medal, McKeever Notches 10th Win

Chris Klebl with his Men's 10km Sitting gold medal and Brian McKeever with his 15km free Visually Imaired gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Chris Klebl earned his first Paralympic medal in impressive fashion, winning gold in Sunday’s cross-country 10 k sit-ski race on the last day of the Sochi Games. Brian McKeever took his third gold of the week, 10th total, the most of any winter athlete in Paralympic history.

Harvey Having Season of a Lifetime, Wins World Cup Finals 30 k Skiathlon

Canada's Alex Harvey celebrates in his traditional fashion after winning his third World Cup race of the season, the 30 k skiathlon and second stage of World Cup Finals on Saturday in Falun, Sweden. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

Alex Harvey rocked the 30 k skiathlon, executing a tried-and-tested strategy to a ‘T’ and staying out of the way of trouble. The Canadian won the penultimate race of World Cup Finals to put himself in podium contention for the overall World Cup, which would be the icing on his most successful season to date. Devon Kershaw placed 12th, and Ivan Babikov finished 23rd for Canada.

Late-Season Calculations Play into World Cup Strategies: Harvey Improves to Top 6 Overall, Hoffman Goes for Points

Start of the men's 50 k freestyle mass start at Holmenkollen on Saturday in Oslo, Norway, with Alex Harvey (3) trailing overall World Cup leader Martin Johnsrud Sundby (yellow bib). (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

For many, the Holmenkollen 50 k freestyle mass start on Saturday was all about larger goals — not just the race itself. But to achieve those goals, one had to do well enough in the challenging six-lap race. Alex Harvey improved from 46th to 14th with that mindset, and Noah Hoffman put it all on the line for bonus points.

Canadian Paralympic Preview: McKeever, Bourgonje, Arendz Lead the Way to Sochi

Canadian World Cup Veteran Mark Arenz in the Standing Division Sprint at Canmore. (Photo Courtesy Pam Doyle)

The 2014 Winter Paralympics officially kick off Friday with the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia, and the Canadian Para-Nordic team is raring to be one of the most dominant teams at the Games, shooting for third in the overall medal count.

Canadian Women Stand Together, Reflect on Olympic Experience

Several members of the Canadian Olympic cross-country ski team get the perfect photo opp at the Olympic rings in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (From left to right): Perianne Jones, Amanda Ammar, Heidi Widmer, Brittany Webster, and Emily Nishikawa. (Photo: Emily Nishikawa)

For Canada, the 30-kilometer freestyle mass start was less about results and more about the emergence of a unified women’s team, which finished within places of one another and stuck together even after the race. While one is continuing on the World Cup, national-team veterans Dasha Gaiazova and Chandra Crawford will not be racing this weekend in Lahti, Finland.