The following is a series of daily event descriptions from the Cross-Country events at the 2002 Olympic Games, celebrating the first anniversary of the Salt Lake City Games. For more information or requests for lectures, presentations of planning and preparation phases, or the “behind the scenes” operations during the Games, contact John Aalberg at
This event would give Canada their first ever Olympic Cross-Country medal. The bronze was awarded to Beckie Scott on this day. Due to the doping issues discovered after the conclusion of the Games, Beckie has now been awarded the silver medal (more on this later)
After the first part of the pursuit, the classical 5-km, the Russian duo of Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazutina were leading. Beckie was sitting in 6th place, less than 10 seconds from 3rd. Nina Kemppel was in 27th place. The average speed for the top 5 skiers was 2.38 min per km.
The conditions and courses were optimal for the second part of the pursuit, starting about 1 hour later. The two Russian “super-women” stayed easily ahead from start to finish during the second part of the pursuit — the 5-km free technique race. The excitement was however for 3rd place, where a group of 6 skiers were battling for position going up the last climb. On this, one of Beckie’s favorite race courses, she managed to stay calm and confident going into the stadium and the last corner. She out-sprinted the competition, including Bente Skari, the Gold medal winner from 3 day’s prior. The enclosed picture clearly shows Beckie beating Katerina Neumanova by 0.1 seconds — in many people’s eyes for Gold medal since both Russian skiers ahead were later in the Games caught for doping. Nina Kemppel ended up in 32nd place.
The average speed for the top 5 fastest free technique skiers were 2:21 min per km.