Canada Adds Two Women, Webster and Ammar, to Olympic Roster

BrainspiralJanuary 25, 20143
Amanda Ammar (Team Ninja) leads Brittany Webster (Highland Trailblazers) in the 15 k skiathlon on Jan. 12 at 2014 Canadian Olympic Trials in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Angus Cockney)
Amanda Ammar (Team Ninja) leads Brittany Webster (Highlands Trailblazers) in the 15 k skiathlon on Jan. 12 at 2014 Canadian Olympic Trials in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Angus Cockney)

Cross Country Canada announced late Friday night that it added two women, Brittany Webster and Amanda Ammar, to its 2014 Olympic cross-country team. That brings the team total to 13 athletes, seven women and six men.

The two former national-team members, who had each been to the Olympics before, filed appeals after 11 athletes were originally named to the team on Jan. 14 “knowing that with the team named … Canada would not have a full representation in the women’s distance races, which were recently granted,” according to a CCC press release.

“This combined with additional quota spots that became available to Cross Country Canada only [Thursday], confirmed their nomination to the team,” the release explained. “FIS provides quota spots to each country based on international rankings. If other nations do not use their entire quota, those spots are then redistributed in a second round of offers.”

At Canadian Olympic Team Trials from Jan. 8-12 in Canmore, Alberta, Webster and Ammar finished just outside the quota cutoff — with the one women’s distance spot going to Emily Nishikawa. Webster and Ammar are both distance skiers.

The founder of the Canmore-based Team Ninja, Ammar, 27, competed at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. She took two seasons off (from 2009 to 2011) and dealt with injuries in her back and foot this fall, she won the 15-kilometre skiathlon at the Olympic trials.

Webster (Highlands Trailblazers) went to the 2010 Olympics, took some time away from the sport, and came back to compete at 2013 World Championships. The 26-year-old finished second in both distance races at trials.

“Adding Brittany and Amanda rounds out the most talented group of cross-country ski athletes to start for Canada at an Olympic Winter Games,” CCC High-Performance Director Tom Holland said in the press release. “This opportunity will allow these two additional athletes to continue their development with this opportunity to race at the Olympics. We welcome them both to the team.”


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  • waichler

    January 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

    This more expansive way of filling out an Olympic team is something I wish the coaches had exercised for the US women’s team. Caitlin Gregg is in a similar position as these women, and is even more dominant at domestic distance racing this season.

  • Tim Kelley

    January 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Waichler, I agree. Taking the skier that wins the big tryout race to the Olympics is a no-brainer. Actually, it’s common sense, which is something that Canadians seem to have a lot more of than Americans. USST/USSA should show us some of this Canadian common sense. Besides righting a flawed system and moral wrong-doings, it would also win back many of the former USST fans that have been alienated by their recent illogical decisions.

  • JustinFereshetian

    January 25, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Yeah I really hope that at the very least the USST would name Caitlin Gregg and maybe even Reese or Sylvan too. Sylvan was dominant in the 30k at Nationals, and Reese was never finished outside of the podium in a race he entered at Nationals this year. Actually In my opinion with the 3 extra quota spots that the U.S. has they should use them on each of these athletes. Or even Matt Leibsch, he’s a good selection for one of those 3 spots as well since his points are so good.

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