Beckie Scott (CAN), 2002 Olympic Champion in the pursuit and 2006 Olympic Silver Medalist in the sprint relay, finished second in the overall Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country 2005/06 standings. After ten World Cup seasons and her third Olympics, Beckie retired at the end of last season. However, in her case retirement has not meant leaving the sports world — quite the opposite! FIS Newsflash recently had a chance to interview Beckie.
FIS Newsflash: How have you kept busy since the end of your last season?
Beckie Scott: I think that I have been more on the road since I retired than while I was training and competing although, as an overseas team, we Canadians are well-known for our heavy traveling schedules.
My new responsibilities as Member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, as Board Member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee, and as Ambassador for Right To Play have kept me quite busy. In addition, I am Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes’ Commission and serve on the Board of the WADA Foundation, the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport, and the TransCanada Trail.
FIS Newsflash: Which of these activities are taking most of your time?
Beckie Scott: Since my election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission in Turin, I have spent quite some time learning about the IOC and my role as an ex-athlete within the Olympic Movement. It is a task I take very seriously and am excited about — so far my IOC experience, for example at our first meeting in Lausanne, has been very positive.
For VANOC, I’ve had several meetings around Canada, including a recent tour of the Vancouver 2010 venues. I am looking forward to providing them with feedback from an athlete’s perspective. Overall, I am thrilled to help prepare the next Olympics in my home country because my career really started at the 1988 Calgary Olympics where I realized that skiing was what I would like to do, too. So in a way, I started as an Olympian, competed in three Olympics, and am now closing the circle through my work for VANOC.
I am also very proud of my engagement for Right To Play. I recently traveled to Ethiopia with six other athletes to visit their project there. It was great to see how the organization works on the ground and the difference their work can make.
Finally, I am very passionate about my role in the anti-doping fight. We have a great group of fifteen highly committed, international athletes on the WADA’s Athletes’ Commission working for fairer and cleaner sport. For me personally, it is very important to ensure that young athletes can continue to believe in their chances to compete and win clean.
FIS Newsflash: Do you miss Cross-Country Skiing?
Beckie Scott: For me, it was time to move on from competitive skiing. I am still keeping active because I find it important to be fit. And I do miss the team and the closeness of that environment. That is why I am really hoping to be able to visit the 2007 Championships in Sapporo! Next season will be an interesting season otherwise, too: with the introduction of the Tour de Ski, the schedule will feature a very different, demanding race early in the season. With so many competitions in a short period of time, recovery will play a key role. At the same time, I think I could have done quite well on the Tour as I always seemed to get better, the more we raced!
Editor's Note: In a related story, it was announced on Thursday that a cross-country ski trail system in Alberta's Vermilion Provincial Park will be re-named after Olympic gold medallist Beckie Scott:
Beckie visiting Right To Play in Ethiopia