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Canadian Interuniversity Sport – TORONTO (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjuction with Cross Country Canada, announced Wednesday the 12 student-athletes and four staff members who will represent Canada in cross country skiing at the 2017 Winter Universiade, set for January 29 to Feb 8 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Almaty 2017 Website:

Team Canada Website:


Canada will compete in cross country skiing for the first time since the 2013 Universiade.

Nipissing’s Jordan Cascagnette (Penetanguishene, Ont.) returns from the 2013 squad, alongside Lakers teammate Shelby Dickey (Collingwood, Ont.) and Lakehead’s Gavin Shields – a member of the Thunderwolves’ Canadian College and University Nordic Skiing championship team last season. The team also features six Laval skiiers, including William Dumas (Gatineau, Que.), Gabrielle Lemire (Quebec City, Que.), Alexis Morin (Victoriaville, Que.) Christel Pichard-Jolicoeur (Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.), Andree-Anne Theberge (Levis, Que.) and Conor Thompson (Montreal, Que.), as well as Carleton’s Carrington Pomeroy (Chelsea, Que.), Calgary’s Emma Camicioli (Edmonton, Alta.) and Western’s Kyla Vanderzwet (Port Elgin, Ont.).

The team staff is proven with FISU and multi-sport Games experience, headed by team leader Katja Mathys, and Nipissing’s Toivo Koivukoski, who will serve as head coach. Assistant coach Mary Waddell and technician Kirk Potter, round out the staff.  

Mathys was the manager of Team Ontario at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, while Koivukoski, Waddell and Potter were all on staff at the 2013 Universiade. Waddell, a former nordic skiing head coach at Laurentian University, will attend her sixth consecutive FISU Games in Almaty.

Canada has won one medal in cross country skiing at the Universiade, when Alain Masson, Wayne Dustin, Owen Spence and Benoit Létourneau raced to a third-place finish in the 4x10km relay in 1985 in Belluno, Italy.

“It is an honour and a thrill to be supporting the finest varsity skiers in the country at these Games, and to be working alongside of such a talented and experienced team of coaches and wax technicians,” said Koivukoski. “The team of selected student-athletes is strong, and I am confident that our skiers will represent their country and their universities with pride. Having worked with Team Canada as assistant coach at the 2013 Games, my eyes are open to the caliber of this international competition, and we will put in every effort to step up to the challenge.”






Jordan Cascagnette


Penetanguishene, Ont.

Physical Education

Emma Camicioli


Edmonton, Alta.

Physical Education

Shelby Dickey


Collingwood, Ont.

Physical Education

William Dumas


Gatineau, Que.

Biomedical Science

Gabrielle Lemire


Quebec City, Que.

Mechanical Engineering

Alexis Morin


Victoriaville, Que.


Christel Pichard-Jolicoeur


Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.


Carrington Pomeroy


Chelsea, Que.

Environmental Science

Gavin Shields


Thunder Bay, Ont.


Andree-Anne Theberge


Levis, Que.


Conor Thompson


Montreal, Que.


Kyla Vanderzwet


Port Elgin, Ont.



Team Leader: Katja Mathys

Head Coach: Toivo Koivukoski (Nipissing University)

Assistant Coach: Mary Waddell

Technician: Kirk Potter


About the Winter Universiade

The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

The Almaty Universiade will feature eight compulsory sports and four optional sports. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, cross country skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating and snowboarding. Optional sports: ski jumping, nordic combined, freestyle skiing and long-track speed skating.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four conferences vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit or follow us on:







For further information, please contact:

Alan Hudes

Coordinator, Communications

Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Off: 905-508-3000 ext. 242

Cell: 647-991-5343


Pat Park


Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Off: 905-508-3000 ext. 241