Dasha Gaiazova, an alternate for the 2006 Games in Torino, looks poised for promising results at her first Olympic Winter Games. She arrives in Vancouver on the heels of two impressive 12th place results in the recent World Cups in Estonia and Canmore. Following her three wins at the Canadian Olympic Trials in December, Gaiazova headed to Europe to test her speed against the best competition and make final preparations for the Olympic Games. “I needed to see how my speed compared to that of the top international girls,” Gaiazova writes on her website, “and participating in a World Cup a month before the Games gave me a good indication of where I am and what I need to work on in order to be able to race even faster against the same international crowd in February.” After qualifying 10th in Otepää, she skied well in the heats and secured 12th place, her best individual World Cup result to date. Just two weeks later, Gaiazova matched her result in Estonia with a 12th place finish in the Canmore World Cup.
Gaiazova, who moved to Canada from Russia at the age of 15, opened her 2009-2010 season in West Yellowstone, MT with a win in the freestyle sprint and podium finishes in the 10K freestyle and 5K classic races. Last season, Gaiazova finished her year with a 28th place finish in the freestyle sprint at the World Championships. She has 21 World Cup starts to her credit and 14 National Championship podium results, including seven gold medals.