Nordiq Canada reveals cross-country skiing team for Beijing Olympics

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  • Cendrine Browne
    Canadian cross-country skier
Dahria Beatty was one of seven athletes named to Canada's cross-country skiing team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Thursday. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Dahria Beatty was one of seven athletes named to Canada's cross-country skiing team for the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Thursday. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Two-time Olympians Dahria Beatty and Cendrine Browne headline a youthful Olympic roster unveiled by Nordiq Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee on Thursday.

Beatty, of Whitehorse, and Browne, of Saint-Jérôme, Que., are joined by Laura Leclair (Chelsea, Que.) and Katherine Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.) on the women's team.

The men's team is comprised of Antoine Cyr (Gatineau, Que.), Olivier Léveillé (Sherbrooke, Que.) and Graham Ritchie (Parry Sound, Ont.). Both sides will be led by Norwegian coach Erik Braten.

"This is a talented group of athletes who are coming into these Games replete with veteran leadership and first time Olympic team members who are confident and driven to deliver results on the ultimate sporting stage," said Stéphane Barrette, chief executive officer of Nordiq Canada.

Beatty and Browne are the only returning members from the 2018 Games.

WATCH | Browne speaks on her coach's influence:

Leclair, 24, and Stewart-Jones, 26, are set for their Olympic debut.

"I'm really excited to be heading to my first Olympics. It is something I've always wanted to accomplish, and it is crazy that it is finally here," said Stewart-Jones.

Cyr, Ritchie and Léveillé all earned Olympic spots based on their results on the World Cup circuit over the last two years.

The 23-year-old Cyr finished in the top-12 twice this year to qualify.

"Today is a dream come true and my whole focus now is on getting ready for the Olympics," said Cyr.

The Gatineau native teamed up with Ritchie, 23, to finish seventh in the team sprint at the 2021 world championships.

Léveillé, the youngest member of the Canadian team at 20, is a two-time medallist at the world junior championships and finished 17th on the World Cup circuit earlier this season.

Canada has won three previous Olympic cross-country medals, including gold from Beckie Scott in 2002 and Chandra Crawford in 2006, as well as Sara Renner's silver in 2006.

Catriona Le May Doan, Canada's Chef de Mission for Beijing 2022, said she was hopeful Canada's newest generation of cross-country skiers can build on that legacy.

"Canadian cross-country skiers have continued to challenge on the international circuit, and we will be cheering these athletes on as they wear the Maple Leaf in Beijing," she said.

Due to the increased risks associated with the pandemic, Nordiq Canada also nominated four alternates: Rémi Drolet, Russell Kennedy, Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt and Jasmine Drolet.

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