Canadas Nordic skiing fortunes improved greatly last week with the announcement that Canmores Beckie Scott, a gold medal winner from the 2002 Winter Games after the top skiers were disqualified for doping, would be returning to the national team for the Torino Games in 2006.
She followed up that announcement with a gold medal performance last weekend in the Haywood Canada Cup races at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre in Vernon, B.C. She edged out Quebecs Milaine Theriault from the national ski team by almost two minutes over 10K, breaking away early and keeping up the pace.
Scott is poised to rejoin the World Cup circuit, which is already in progress.
Sara Renner cracked the top-30 in the 10K Classic at a World Cup race last week, finishing in 23 rd overall.
The big surprise was Rosslands George Grey, who finished 41 st in the mens 15K Classic. According to Olympic qualifying quota that result placed Grey in the top-30 overall, with every nation only allowed to qualify four athletes in the event. With countries like Russia and Norway exceeding their quota, Grey was able to move up on the list.
"It definitely feels good to get it done early in the season, but it doesnt change my goals," said the 25-year-old World Cup rookie, one of four Canadian men looking to qualify for Torino in 2006. I still have a job to do out here and hopefully this will give me an extra push to ski faster and get into the top-25. The summer training is starting to pay off and Im mentally feeling much stronger to push harder."