West Kootenay skier heads to Winter Olympics – Boundary Creek Times

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Black Jack skier Remi Drolet of Rossland is traveling to Beijing, China to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Drolet and Quebec skier Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt were named to Canada’s Nordic team on Friday, after the International Ski Federation (FIS) reallocated a position to each of the men’s and women’s teams.

“It feels good,” Drolet told the Rossland News Friday from Team Canada’s cross-country training center in Vernon.

“It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time. I think I dreamed about it growing up, then from about four years ago it became a goal and something I’ve been working towards for a very long time, so it feels good to achieve it.

Drolet, 21, had podium results at the Olympic Ski Trials in Canmore, Jan. 6-11. But his second overall finish in the 15k classic on Jan. 8 likely cemented his position as the first alternate and ultimate Olympic cross-country team selection.

“He was pretty stressed after the trials,” said ski coach David Wood. “He had to show up, and he had a chance one day, and he delivered.”

The three spots for the men’s team had been predetermined by the World Cup results of Olivier Leveille (Sherbrooke, Que.), Graham Ritchie (Parry Sound, Ont.) and Antoine Cyr (Gatineau, Que.), not leaving only the alternative place for Drolet to set his sights.

“It was a pretty stressful time at the start of this part of the season because going to Trials I knew I might not even be fighting for anything,” Drolet said. “But I knew I had a chance and I was really happy that I was able to take it.”

Remi’s sister, Jasmine, earned second place as an alternate on the women’s team, following her podium results at the same Jr/U23 Olympic and World Ski Trials, and was so close to joining Remi on the Olympic team. .

Wood says 19-year-old Jasmine has almost guaranteed her spot on Canada’s junior women’s team and will have World Cup starts this season.

“She’s run amazing this year, she’s really, really strong and it’s great to see,” said Remi. “Even though the Olympics weren’t really her priority this time around, she’s focused on getting some good results at the Junior World Championships this year. So it’s great to see that she’s already here, fighting with these older women.

Remi took a sabbatical from his studies at Harvard this year to direct his efforts towards his Olympic goal, while Jasmine is currently attending Dartmouth College and skiing for the NCAA cross country team.

When asked what he expected most from his Olympic experience, Rémi replied, “Mostly, the whole vibe there, being in the Olympic Village and the venues, and seeing the Olympic rings displayed everywhere.

“I think it will be a bit surreal.”

When it comes to results, the 21-year-old is keeping his expectations in check.

“I want to feel like I’m fighting at least in the group and being competitive,” Rémi said. “I think it’s a little early in my career to go for medals, but I hope to be in the thick of it. A top 10 finish would be really good for me.

The Drolets adventure began more than ten years ago in Rossland with the Black Jack ski club. Rémi has covered a lot of miles since and won many victories along the way, including a silver medal in the team relay at the 2020 World Junior Ski Championships in Germany.

Still, the opportunity to compete on the Olympic stage is the ultimate honor he would like to share with his community.

“There’s no way I’m here without all of them,” Rémi said. “I had such a great community supporting me along the way. Growing up in Rossland, in my mind, is probably the best place to grow up in the whole world. The community has been so great and the club has been so supportive.

“And of course, Dave Wood, my coach, I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him over the years, and really grateful to have had that support.”

On January 13, Nordic Canada announced the four women and three men selected for the Olympic teams based on criteria set out in their internal nominating procedures.

In addition to the men’s team, Dahria Beatty (Whitehorse, Yukon), Cendrine Browne (Saint-Jérôme, Que.), Laura Leclair (Chelsea, Que.) and Katherine Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.) have been named to Canada’s women’s team. team.

Team Canada trains in Vernon and follows strict COVID protocols. The team flies from Vancouver to Beijing on January 26 for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Cross-country skiing takes place from February 5 to 20 (days 2 to 16) at the Zhangjiakou Cross-Country Center.

Read: Black Jack skiers excel at world junior and Olympic trials


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