Twelve days after he was crowned world champion in cross-country skiing’s longest event, Alex Harvey had a different once-in-a-lifetime moment when he won the sport’s shortest event at the FIS World Cup Finals in front of the home crowd in Quebec City.
Harvey claimed the gold medal in the freestyle sprint, completing the 1.5km course on the historic Plains of Abraham in 2 minutes 44.95 seconds. Norway’s Finn Haagen Krogh (2:45.27) was three-tenths of a second back for silver with Frenchman Richard Jouve (2:45.86) taking the bronze.
In the six-man final, Harvey jumped out to the early lead, cheered on by the partisan crowd enthusiastically ringing their cowbells. He was caught on an uphill portion, but with about 25 metres to go he got by Krogh, allowing him to cross the finish line with his arms held high. Harvey had won both his quarterfinal and semifinal heats to get into the final. As has become tradition, he celebrated with a little ski air guitar.
This is Harvey’s seventh career World Cup victory and one of three this season, all of which have come in different events. In January he teamed with Lenny Valjas for team sprint gold and followed it the next weekend with a solo win in a 15km freestyle. When the World Cup was in Quebec City a year ago, Harvey finished second in the sprint, making Friday’s victory extra sweet.