Biography:

The highlight of Lenny Valjas’ career came in January 2017 when he was a member of the men’s 4×7.5km relay team that won World Cup bronze in Ulricehamn, Sweden. It was Canada’s first ever World Cup podium in a distance relay. Just a week earlier, Valjas had earned his first career World Cup victory when he joined with Alex Harvey to win the team sprint free in Toblach, Italy.

It had been four years since Valjas last stood on a World Cup podium, when he did it twice in January 2013. He had won his first World Cup medal, a silver in the sprint event, in Drammen, Norway in March 2012. He would return to the World Cup podium two more times in that month.

Valjas had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery in July 2013 to fix a problem he’d been dealing with for five years. But the surgery was a little too aggressive, leaving his leg weaker than before. With his Olympic debut on the horizon, he needed a lot of physiotherapy and other rehab to get to the start line at Sochi 2014, Valjas posted his best world championship result in 2017 when he finished sixth in the team sprint classic with Harvey.

In his second Olympic appearance at PyeongChang 2018, Valjas missed advancing to the individual sprint final by just one place, finishing seventh overall.

A little more about Lenny

Getting into the Sport: Started skiing at age three… As an infant, his parents would carry him in a backpack during their ski outings… By age 17 was excelling at both cross-country skiing and mountain biking and had to choose one to focus on; he chose skiing… After high school he deferred acceptance to university for a year so he could move to Horseshoe Valley for training… Outside Interests: Enjoys other sports such as alpine skiing, windsurfing, surfing, fishing, hunting… Odds and Ends: Likes to find a good espresso 45 minutes before a race… Older sister Kristina Valjas competed in beach volleyball at Rio 2016…