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.”