Cross Country Canada recently announced its 2012/2013 national ski team, which includes a similar lineup to last year with slight variations.
Devon Kershaw, Alex Harvey, Len Valjas and Ivan Babikov make up the men’s World Cup squad, under the leadership of head coach Justin Wadsworth and assistant Louis Bouchard. The head coach at the Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre, Bouchard will also be mentoring Dasha Gaiazova this season.
Gaiazova is one of three veterans returning to the Canadian women’s World Cup team. Chandra Crawford and Perianne Jones round out their roster, coached by Eric de Nys and special consultant Torbjørn Karlsen.
Rather than train at the national team headquarters in Canmore, Alberta, Gaiazova opted to work with Bouchard this summer in Québec. According to CCC high-performance director Tom Holland, that puts her at a “little different-tier level” than her World Cup teammates, but she will be joining their next training camp in Alaska.
“It’s a little different program for her, but it comes from some outside support,” Holland said.
Gaiazova will test in Montreal with the help of B210, a program that supports Canadian athletes with private donations. Holland said the national team was working with B210 and Bouchard on her training plan.
“We just judged this as a program we want to try with her,” he said. “She’s pretty excited about it and we’re going to move ahead.”
In an email, Gaiazova wrote that she always wanted to be a part of the national team and was switching to a new private coach to comply with team standards. She would remain affiliated with Rocky Mountain Racers in Alberta, but no longer work with its head coach, John Jaques.
“I cannot continue training with John … because John is not a National Team coach,” Gaiazova wrote.
When she was 19, she lived in Montreal and trained with Bouchard at the Pierre-Harvey centre. Now 28, she planned to work with him again in Québec City.
“[Bouchard] graciously agreed to take me into his training group even though I never applied and do not intend to, because I made the National World Cup team standard and qualified for the National Team 2012-13,” Gaiazova wrote.
Canadian World Cup Team
Head Coach: Justin Wadsworth
Coaches: Eric de Nys, Louis Bouchard
Ivan Babikov (Foothills Nordic)
Alex Harvey (Club Nordique Mont Ste. Anne)
Devon Kershaw (Ona Wa Su)
Len Valjas (Team Hardwoord)
Chandra Crawford (Canmore Nordic)
Dasha Gaiazova (Rocky Mountain Racers)
Perianne Jones (Nakkertok)
For complete NST and NDC lists, click here.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.