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Scott dominates another weekend

Canmore x-c skier wins six medals in six races this season

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Canmore’s Beckie Scott took a break from competition after fighting for two years for her Olympic gold medal in the 5K Free Pursuit in the 2002 Games – the gold and silver medal winners had previously tested positive for darbepoetin, a banned substance.

She mulled retirement, but last year decided she would compete again and represent Canada at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.

She chose wisely. After two weeks, competing in the first World Cup cross-country races held on Canadian snow in years, she is one the top ranked skiers in the world.

In the past two weekends Scott has claimed six medals in six events against strong international fields. The top woman from last season, Marit Bjoergen of Norway, pulled out because of illness, but otherwise it was a full World Cup field at Sovereign Lakes outside of Vernon and on her home track at Canmore.

In Vernon, two weekends ago, she won three medals, two silver and a gold, setting firsts for Canadian cross-country skiers with every new result.

Last weekend, with temperatures hovering around —18 degrees Celsius, Scott was dominant once again in adding another three medals to her growing collection.

She started off her weekend with a silver medal in the Interval Start Ladies 10K, wedged between Julija Tchepalova of Russia and Evi Sachenbacher Stehle of Germany.

Her teammate Sara Renner, who is also having the best season of her career, was 12 th .

On Saturday, racing on her home course, Scott won the 15K Classic Mass Start by nearly four seconds.

Tchepalova was second, while Claudia Kuenzel claimed the bronze.

"I knew I had it pretty much sealed up," said Scott. "Unless I crashed I was going to win this race. It’s fantastic to do this at home."

Renner finished a career-high sixth in the race.

Both Scott and Renner also competed in the women’s 6 by 1.2K Classical Team Sprint on Sunday, finishing second behind the German team of Manuela Henkel and Viola Bauer by a gap of one second. The Swedish team of Lina Andersson and Anna Dahlberg took the bronze.

The Canadian men are still a long way from matching the women, but are getting closer to Olympic qualification.

In the Interval Start Men’s 15K Freestyle, George Grey finished 16 th , the only member of the team to crack to the top-30.

Russian Ivan Babikov, who currently lives in Canmore and is working to become a Canadian citizen, finished fourth.

In the 30K Classic Mass Start, Grey was once again the top Canadian, this time finishing 26 th . Babikov was 18 th .

In the 6 by 1.2K Classical Team Sprint, the Canadian team of Drew Goldsack and George Grey were 12 th , 14 seconds off the fastest time.

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