Canadian National Ski TeamGeneralNewsCross Country Canada Names 2016/2017 National Team

BrainspiralMay 3, 2016

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(Press release)

Olympic and Paralympic veterans lead next generation of elite skiers into new season

CANMORE, Alta. — Focused on winning medals at all levels, Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada named its 2016-17 National Ski Team loaded with promise for 2018 & 2022 Olympics and Paralympics Games on Tuesday.

Feeding off a successful ending to the inaugural Ski Tour Canada where the squad celebrated countless personal and season-best performances, seven Olympians, including six men and one woman, will lead the charge for the Canucks.

Led by Alex Harvey (St-Férréol-les-Neiges, Que.), who captured two medals last season, a high-powered group of athletes including Len Valjas (Toronto), Ivan Babikov (Canmore, Alta.), and Devon Kershaw (Canmore, Alta.) will form the World Cup A Team. Two other athletes who posted breakthrough performances during the Ski Tour Canada, Jesse Cockney (Canmore, Alta.), and Graeme Killick (Fort McMurray, Alta.), will make up the World Cup B Team with Emily Nishikawa (Whitehorse) leading the Canadian women on the elite squad.

World Cup A Team

  • Alex Harvey
  • Len Valjas
  • Ivan Babikov
  • Devon Kershaw

World Cup B Team

  • Jesse Cockney
  • Graeme Killick
  • Emily Nishikawa

With a focus on developing the next generation of elite skiers, Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada also selected seven athletes for its Under-25 Team who will split time racing World Cups, international development level races, and Haywood NorAms in Canada. Three athletes who cracked the top-30 on the World Cup last year while racing the Ski Tour Canada will headline this group of seven including Whitehorse skiers Dahria Beatty and Knute Johnsgaard, along with Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Athabasca, Alta.). They will be joined by Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.), Cendrine Browne (St-Jérôme, Que.), Katherine Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.), and Julien Locke (Nelson).

U25 Team

  • Dahria Beatty
  • Knute Johnsgaard
  • Maya MacIsaac-Jones
  • Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt
  • Cendrine Browne
  • Katherine Stewart-Jones
  • Julien Locke

The governing body for cross-country skiing in Canada also announced seven athletes who combined to win nine medals last year, will return to the Para-Nordic Ski Team. Athletes include: Brian McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) and his guides Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse) and Erik Carleton (Canmore, Alta.); Mark Arendz (Hartsville, P.E.I.), Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert) and Paralympic champion, Chris Klebl (Canmore, Alta.). Emily Weekes (North Vancouver), who bolted onto the international para-nordic scene one year ago with multiple podium performances will continue her progression on the Development Team.

Para-Nordic Ski Team

  • Brian McKeever (guides: Graham Nishikawa, Erik Carleton)
  • Mark Arendz
  • Brittany Hudak

Para-Nordic Development Team

  • Emily Weekes

“We obviously have a great line-up of athletes that combines veteran experience with youthful energy and drive,” said Tom Holland, high-performance director, Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada. “I think our elite athletes proved last year they have what it takes to continue delivering medal-winning performances, while our next generation of athletes are steadily developing and demonstrating a promising future for our program.”

Holland and his high-performance selection team also identified one dozen athletes who will compete on the Junior National Ski Team. Athletes include:

Junior National Ski Team

  • Marie Corriveau (St-Férréol-Les-Neiges, Que.)
  • Katie Weaver (North Vancouver)
  • Laura Leclair (Chelsea, Que.)
  • Annika Richardson (Vancouver)
  • Zoe Williams (Cantley, Que.)
  • Hannah Mehain (Vernon)
  • Ryan Jackson (Midhurst)
  • Philippe Boucher (Lévis, Que.)
  • Antoine Blais (Lévis, Que.)
  • Etienne Hebert (Varennes, Que.)
  • Gareth Williams (Kelowna, B.C.)
  • Antoine Cyr (Gatineau, Que.)

 

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