Media Release

Canadian Cross-Country Ski Mixed Relay Teams Place Sixth at Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships in Whistler

February 04, 2023

WHISTLER, B.C.—Nordiq Canada’s developing athletes skied to a pair of sixth-place finishes at the Junior/U23 World Ski Championships in Whistler, B.C. on Saturday.

The junior Canucks battled to a sixth-place finish in the mixed relay to cap off the 2023 World Ski Championships on home snow.

Four Canadian teenagers – Alison Mackie (Edmonton), Xavier McKeever (Canmore, Alta.), Alexandra Luxmoore (Revelstoke, B.C.) and Luke Allan (Ottawa) – combined for a time of 53:18 in the four, five-kilometre legs of the mixed team relay.

“This is a super awesome result for such a young team in a deep field,” said Luke Allan who took on the anchor leg for the young Canucks.

The relay consists of each athlete skiing one five-kilometre loop. The first two athletes ski classic-ski format followed by the final two members of the team taking on the skate-skiing legs.

Edmonton’s Alison Mackie kicked things off for the Canucks. The 17-year-old, who has had a breakthrough week with two, top-15 finishes in addition to qualifying for the sprint heats, handed off to the 19-year-old McKeever in seventh spot. McKeever hammered the pace up the hilly 20-kilometre Olympic venue to pick up valuable time along with a spot in the standings.

Luxmoore lost 10 seconds on the field while skiing the opening of two skate-ski legs. Handing off to  Luke Allan in seventh spot, the Ottawa skier wasted no time making the time back up for Team Canada, charging through the Callaghan Valley to secure the Canucks sixth spot.

“The American started out five seconds ahead of me. I had some quick skis on my feet so I was able to settle in behind him for just over three kilometres of the race,” said Allan, who was drafting the American and conserving his energy. “With the pressure of the chase pack behind us, I was able to pick up the pace for the next kilometre and ski by him to create a little gap for sixth place.”

The Norwegians pulled away from the field of rising Nordic stars to win the team World Championship title with a time of 51:32. Sweden was 33 seconds back at 52:06, taking the silver medal. Italy won the fight for the bronze in the junior ranks, crossing the finish line with a time of 52:12.

Canada’s U23 athletes had a sixth-place finish of their own on Saturday afternoon.

The four-person squad of Jasmine Lyons (Ottawa), Rémi Drolet (Rossland, B.C.), Liliane Gagnon (Quebec City), and Sasha Masson (Whitehorse) combined for a time of 51:40, finishing 32 seconds off the podium pace.

Jasmine Lyons set the tone for the Canucks. Coming off a 13th-place finish in the distance race, the 20-year-old was matching strides the leaders through her opening classic-ski leg.

“It was definitely hard. I did everything I could to stick with them,” said Lyons. “I wanted to maintain as much contact as possible to set Rémi up with a good leg. I’m happy with how it went overall.”

Tagging off to Drolet in seventh spot, the Harvard University student-athlete powered the Canadians back into podium contention, handing off to the final two athletes with a three-teams skiing three-through fifth.

The Canadians dropped to 22 seconds off the leading mark, skiing within sight of the podium until the anchor leg where Sasha Masson crossed the finish line in sixth.

“Liliane did good work to get us back into a top spot. I spent a bit too much energy trying to get back to them (leaders),” said Masson. “It was a great race and we held off a lot of really good teams. The team really worked well together and it was great to finish off strong.”

Team France won the gold medal in a time of 51:05. Sweden was second at 51:06, while Switzerland captured the bronze at 51:08.

“It’s easy to push yourself when you are doing it for your teammates,” said Lyons. “We are alll pretty young and really working in the right direction. We hope to improve on this next year but we are really happy with a top-six.”


More than 500 athletes – ages 16-23 – representing 37 countries competed on Whistler’s ski trails and jumping towers over the last 10 days. It is just the third time Canada has played host to the Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships. The Canmore Nordic Centre welcomed the next generation of Olympians in 1997. The World Juniors for ski jumping and Nordic combined were also held in Mont-Sainte Anne, Que. in 1979. It will be the first major international event at Whistler Olympic Park since the 2010 Games.