Midst a historic season, cross-country skiers head into worlds
Canadian skiers will look to build on their World Cup accomplishments at the FIS Cross-Country World Championships beginning on February 21 in Lahti, Finland.
The 2016-2017 cross-country season has been one to remember for Canadians, with success in individual, team and relay events. With six events to choose from, cross-country skiing fans will surely get their fix from Lahti. Here’s what spectators can look forward to over the next two weeks.
The first medal event on the calendar are the women’s and men’s sprint finals. At the last world championship in 2013, two-time Olympian Alex Harvey raced to silver in the men’s events. Lenny Valjas will also be one to watch, especially after finishing fourth in a close men’s sprint photo finish at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic test event.
Next up, athletes will prepare for skiathlon on Saturday, an event Harvey also reached the 2015 world podium in with bronze medal.
Racers will end the first weekend with team sprint events on Sunday. This season Harvey and Valjas won gold during their first team sprint pairing at the World Cup in Italy. The duo also secured Canada’s first gold in the event since Harvey and Devon Kershaw won worlds in 2011. With all three athletes on this year’s roster, Canada can expect to be a strong contender in the event.
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One of my biggest skiing goals was reached yesterday, as I stepped on the top step of the World Cup podium with my teammate @alx_rv! Thank you everyone for the words of support , it made our day even more special. Big thanks to our small team of hardworking staff that made this weekend possible. @nick.when @super_simon123 @cccski 🍾🍾🍾 @oakleyskiing @fischersports_nordic @swix_sport #teammoustache
The women will start off the distance races with the 10km on February 28th before the men’s 15km on March 1.
The next two days marks the distance relays, where Canada’s men’s will look to build on their historic World Cup finish in January. The quartet of Harvey, Valjas, Kershaw and Knute Johnsgaard raced the nation’s first World Cup podium in a distance relay in Sweden.
The busy 10-day competition will conclude with the women’s and men’s skate mass start races.
Canadians competing at worlds: