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Beijing 2022: five Quebecers among the Canadian team

The Canadian team will include five Quebecers among the seven cross-country skiers who will take part in the Olympic Games in Beijing.

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Nordiq Canada made the announcement of the lucky winners on Thursday. If Katherine Stewart-Jones, Antoine Cyr and Olivier Léveillé had already met the organization’s requirements for the four stages of the World Cup which took place before the Holidays, Cendrine Browne and Laura Leclair must have earned their ticket for China at the Olympic Trials in Canmore which ended on Tuesday. Browne settled the matter on the first day of Practice by finishing first in the freestyle sprint.

“Because I’m a long distance girl, it was a big surprise to win the 1.2 kilometer freestyle sprint,” she explained. I won by six seconds, which is huge. I finished the Tests without pressure. “

Browne would have preferred to secure her World Cup qualification, but she was confident when she made it to Alberta. “Even though the results were not what I wanted, I had nevertheless performed well in Europe,” she said. I did a lot of mental preparation and was ready to perform. “

“I would have liked to be shortlisted, but I was disappointed yes and no because I knew I had a second chance to qualify, to pursue Browne who will experience his second Olympic Games after those in Pyeongchang in 2018. I wanted to prove that I had my place in the national team. Unlike 2018, I know what to expect and will approach the Games as a competition like any other. “

Browne had to score a top 20 in the World Cup to meet Nordiq Canada’s criteria and his best result was a 28e position.

A dream come true

For his part, Leclair got his ticket to Beijing without even having participated in the stages of the World Cup unlike other girls present in Canmore.

“This is the race I was aiming for to qualify,” she explained. Even though I had stayed in Canada and couldn’t assess the level, I was confident that I would do well in the Practice. There were still three places left and my chances were still good. “

“I gave everything for everything, to continue the 24-year-old cross-country skier who will experience her Olympic baptism. I am proud to have performed under stress and pressure. My Olympic dream has come true. I am happy with my career and excited at the idea of ​​participating in my first Games. “

After the Trials, the successful athletes headed to Silver Star Mountain in British Columbia to hold the final camp before leaving for China. They end up in a bubble.

“We find here the same altitude (1700 m) as at the Games while the Olympic events will be held in the mountains,” said Browne. It was important to be able to hold a camp at altitude before leaving. “

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