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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Double Gold for Canada on Last Day of Paralympics: Klebel Gets First Medal, McKeever Notches 10th Win
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
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.
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.
When Alex Harvey tripped over a pole broken by U.S. skier Noah Hoffman, it summed up the whole Olympics for the Canadian team: if one piece was there, the rest was unlucky. Harvey, Ivan Babikov, and Graeme Killick finished 19th, 20th, and 28th, while Jesse Cockney was “just thrilled to have the start.”