Remi and Olivier will be Canada’s medal hopefuls at the 2023 FIS Nordic Junior &U23 World Ski Championships at Whistler Olympic Park (Jan 27-Feb 5, 2023).
Press Release by Chris Dornan – www.chrisdornan.ca
CANMORE (January 21, 2022) – Team Canada will now have five women and four men on the cross-country skiing start line as Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt and Rémi Drolet are heading to Beijing for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Bouffard Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.) and Drolet (Rossland, B.C.) were the final two athletes nominated by Nordiq Canada to the Canadian Olympic Committee after an additional two quota spots were handed down to Canada by International Ski Federation (FIS) following a reallocation process.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Remi and Olivia to test themselves on the ultimate stage while having the opportunity to realize their Olympic dream,” said Stéphane Barrette, Chief Executive Officer, Nordiq Canada. “Gaining two additional quota spots allows Nordiq Canada to deepen our high-performance program by having more athletes on the start line competing against the world’ best.”
The 29-year-old Bouffard Nesbitt, who is a former National Ski Team member, was named first alternate for Canada’s cross-country ski team after placing second in the skate-sprint qualifier before going onto finish third in the head-to-head heats at Nordiq Canada’s Olympic Trials earlier this month.
“Getting this confirmation was a huge moment for me and, quite honestly, overwhelming validation of years of hard work,” said Bouffard Nesbitt. “This journey has required patience and persistence through a lot of ups and downs, but the belief this was possible never wavered. I am so grateful to all of those who have invested in me. It was the most amazing feeling to call all of those people and tell them we made it happen. I’m so grateful. I’m so happy and I’m going to race my heart out with the team in Beijing for all of Canada.”
Drolet, one of the top young prospects in the Canadian men’s program, earned his alternate spot following a second-place finish in the 15-kilometre classic cross-country ski race at the Trials. The 21-year-old Drolet skied the anchor leg of Canada’s historic silver medal-winning relay team at the 2020 Junior World Ski Championships.
“When I found out I would be getting an Olympic spot I was overjoyed, and it was incredibly relieving,” said Drolet. “Making it to Beijing has been a dream goal of mine for the past four years so it feels amazing to have achieved it. Having this opportunity at this point in my career is encouraging for me to see what I am capable of and I want to use this a steppingstone to reach a strong international level in the next few years.”
FIS distributes quota spots to each country based on international rankings. If the top nations do not use all of their qualified spots at the deadline, those spots are then reallocated to the next highest-ranking nation.
Bouffard Nesbitt and Drolet round out the Olympic cross-country ski team which was announced on January 13.
The athletes nominated are:
Dahria Beatty (Whitehorse, Yukon)
Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.)
Cendrine Browne (Saint-Jérôme, Que.)
Antoine Cyr (Gatineau, Que.)
Remi Drolet (Rossland, B.C.)
Laura Leclair (Chelsea, Que.)
Olivier Léveillé (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Graham Ritchie (Parry Sound, Ont.)
Katherine Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.)
Cross-country skiing events will take place February 5 to February 20 (Day 2 to 16) at the Zhangjiakou Cross Country Centre.
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.