Canada’s Cross-Country Ski Athletes Set to Race in Prince George for Final Spots on 2023 World Championship Teams at Nordiq Canada Selection Trials
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.—The nation’s top cross-country ski athletes have descended on the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club to compete in a series of races, January 18-21, for coveted spots on one of Nordiq Canada’s 2023 Nordic World Championship Teams.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our ski community together in British Columbia for one of the most prestigious events on our domestic racing calendar,” said Julie Beaulieu, sport development director, Nordiq Canada. “This group of athletes represent the future of our sport and are extremely driven to achieve the personal performance goals which include representing Canada at the World Championships, so the competition level promises to be extremely high.”
More than 160 athletes including Olympians Rémi Drolet (Rossland, B.C.), Olivier Léveillé (Sherbrooke, Que.), Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.), and Dahria Beatty (Whitehorse) will head into battle at the 2023 Nordiq Canada Selection Trials in hopes of representing Canada at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Slovenia (February 22 – March 5).
Drolet will also be amongst the nation’s next generation of Nordic stars including Jasmine Lyons (Ottawa), Liliane Gagnon (Quebec City), Sasha Masson (Whitehorse), and hot prospect Xavier McKeever (Canmore, Alta.) who will compete for an opportunity to shine on home snow at the FIS World Junior/U23 Nordiq Ski Championships at Whistler Olympic Park (January 27 – February 5).
“Our hope in bringing these talented athletes to British Columbia is to not only provide the perfect staging ground for our U23 and junior skiers prior to competing at the Junior/U23 World Championships in Whistler, but it will also help foster Olympic and Paralympic dreams in youth across the province, inspiring them to get on skis and try our sport. We look forward to a great week with the extremely dedicated officials and volunteers at Caledonia Nordic Ski Club to stage another successful chapter in this history-rich event in Canada,” added Beaulieu.
A greater spotlight is being put on this year’s Trials with the event serving as a final staging ground for Team Canada who will welcome the world’s best the following week at Whistler Olympic Park for the FIS World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships. The 10-day event brings together the best 16 to 23-year-old cross-country skiers, as well as athletes in Nordic combined and ski jumping, from 50 countries to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic venue, January 27 – February 5.
“Having the Trials in Prince George, and then the World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships on the same courses that I grew up racing on in Whistler is surreal. My goal is to qualify to have the honour and privilege of representing Canada at World Championships. Having the rare opportunity to race in front of family and friends will be even more special,” said Marielle Ackermann, a member of Canada’s 2022 National Development Team, who hails from Kimberley, B.C. “It’s so special to have these major events in British Columbia in the same year that Nordiq Canada has its first dedicated National Development Team. I hope it will mark a turning point in Canadian junior development. I am doing everything possible to get myself to those start lines in Whistler.”
Nordiq Canada has a quota of 12 athletes, minimum four female and four male athletes for the 2023 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. To date, one female (Katherine Stewart-Jones – Chelsea, Que.) and one male athletes (Antoine Cyr – Gatineau, Que.) have met the criteria. Graham Ritchie (Parry Sound, Ont.) will be nominated by High-Performance Director’s discretion. The three races at the Trials will be used to select the remaining spots, as well as alternates for both genders.
Nordiq Canada will field a team of 24 athletes for the World Junior/U23 Nordiq Ski Championships. A minimum of four athletes Under 20 from each gender, and four Under 23 athletes from each gender will be named. The remaining eight athletes will be nominated based on ranking lists.
The following is a complete schedule for the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials:
Schedule: All Times PST
January 18 – Classic Ski Sprints
9 a.m. Women’s and Men’s Classic Sprint Qualifiers
11:30 a.m. Women’s and Men’s Classic Sprint Heats
January 19 – Mass Start Classic Ski
10 a.m. Men 20km Classic Interval Start
11:30 a.m. Women’s 20km Classic Interval Start
January 21 – Interval Start Skate Ski
10 a.m. Women’s 10km Skate Ski Race
11:15 a.m. Men 10km Skate Distance Race
The Nordiq Canada Selection Trials selection criteria and process, including the prioritization of Trials races, has been updated in the 2022-23 Competition Trip Criteria in the Document Centre on the Nordiq Canada web site.