Canadian National Ski TeamNewsRacingCross Country Canada Announces National Team Nominations

Brainspiral BrainspiralMay 6, 2015
Canada's Alex Harvey skating his way to a bronze medal in the 30 k skiathlon at World Championships in Falun, Sweden, three weeks ago. In Oslo on Saturday, he capped off his season by placing 13th in the 50 k skate mass start. (Photo: FlyingPointRoad)
Canada’s Alex Harvey skating his way to a bronze medal in the 30 k skiathlon at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Harvey headlined Cross Country Canada’s National Team nominations, which were announced Tuesday. (Photo: FlyingPointRoad)

Cross Country Canada (CCC) announced its national-team nominations Tuesday with little change to the World Cup and Development rosters. The 2015/2016 Senior National Team will feature 12 athletes, four of which are designated as World Cup Team athletes. All four members of the World Cup Team are men and will be headlined by two-time 2015 World Championships medalist Alex Harvey. The 26-year-old recently began his summer training season despite two surgeries to fix his iliac arteries. Joining Harvey are veterans Ivan Babikov, Devon Kershaw, and Lenny Valjas.  This is the second year in a row that no Canadian women met the qualifying criteria for the World Cup Team.

The Development Team will feature three returning athletes, including Graeme Killick, Emily Nishikawa, and Jesse Cockney. Notably missing from the list is Perianne Jones, who retired this spring.

Rounding out the remainder of the National Team nominations are five U23 Development Team athletes, including Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt, Knute Johnsgaard, Cendrine Browne, Dahria Beatty, and Katherine Stewart-Jones. Bouffard-Nesbitt had a breakthrough season in 2014/2015 where she placed 12th in the 15 k skiathlon at the U23 World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and earned spot on the Canadian squad at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

The Canadian National World Cup Team will be coached by Justin Wadsworth and Louis Bouchard, Harvey’s personal coach and head coach of the Pierre Harvey Training Centre in Quebec. Norwegian Olympic gold medalist Tor-Arne Hetland will no longer be a part of the Canadian coaching squad after a year on the job.

In addition to Wadsworth and Bouchard, several training centre and club coaches will assist on the World Cup circuit.

Full list of nominated athletes: 

NST Senior Team

Alex Harvey

Club Nordique Mont Ste. Anne

QC

A – World Cup Team

Ivan Babikov

Foothills Nordic Ski Club

AB

A – World Cup Team

Devon Kershaw

Ona Wa Su

ON

A – World Cup Team

Len Valjas

Team Hardwood

ON

A – World Cup Team

Graeme Killick

Banff Ski Runners

AB

B – Development Team

Emily Nishikawa

Whitehorse

YT

B – Development Team

Jess Cockney

Foothills Nordic Ski Club

AB

B – Development Team

Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt

Fondeurs-Laurentides/ RMR

QC

C – U23+ Development Team

Knute Johnsgaard

Whitehorse

YT

C – U23+ Development Team

Cendrine Browne

Fondeurs-Laurentides

QC

C – U23 Development Team

Dahria Beatty

Whitehorse

YT

C – U23 Development Team

Katherine Stewart-Jones

Club Nakkertok Nordique

QC

C – U23 Development Team

NST Junior Team

Anne-Marie Comeau

Club Nordique Mont Ste. Anne

QC

Marie Corriveau

Club Nordique Mont Ste. Anne

QC

Hannah Mehain

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club

BC

Laura Leclair

Chelsea Nordiq

QC

Sadie White

Big Thunder

ON

Eliza-Jane Kitchen

Hollyburn

BC

Joey Foster

Team Hardwood

ON

Phillipe Boucher

Skibec

QC

Julian Smith

Georgian Bay Nordic

ON

Eduard Reed-Métayer

Skibec

QC

Zachary Cristofanilli

Club de ski de fond Orford

QC

Peter Hicks

Canmore Nordic – Winsport

AB

Olivier Hamel

Skibec

QC

Para-Nordic World Cup Team

Mark Arendz

Rocky Mountain Racers

AB

Chris Klebl

Lifesport

AB

Brian McKeever

Foothills Nordic Ski Club

AB

Erik Carleton (guide)

Rocky Mountain Racers

AB

Graham Nishikawa (guide)

Whitehorse

YT

Brittany Hudak

Sturgeon River Nordic

SK

Para-Nordic Development Team

Emily Weeks

Hollyburn/Telemark

BC

According to CCC, the organization’s High Performance Committee establishes selection criteria every year that aids in the selection of its teams. This criteria is based on CCC’s Policy And Procedures For National Ski Team Selection, Nomination And Announcement.

The organization’s website also points to three other factors that play into the selection process: the Cross Country Canada (CCC) Strategic Plan to 2018(+), the HP Operational Plan 2013/14 – in particular, the Program Philosophy and Program Operating Principle, and the NST Budget, which may be a limiting factor.

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