Canadas national winter sport organizations beat their own projections to qualify the largest ever contingent of athletes for the Olympics. As of press time 198 athletes will be heading to Torino, with at least 15 additional alpine skiers and 15 additional freestyle skiers to be named this week.
By way of comparison, Canada qualified 157 athletes in 2002, 154 in 1998, 104 in 1994, and 117 in 1992 and 1988.
Theres no question that Canadian athletes are having a great season. As of two weeks ago Canada ranked second among all nations in terms of World Cup medals won in all events, and were already favourites in non-World Cup events like hockey and curling.
So far 30 team members and 29 support staff (coaches, trainers, officials and technical) are from B.C., making up just 12 per cent of the overall contingent. Quebec and Alberta will be sending the bulk of the team, followed by Ontario.