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CANMORE, Alta.—Canada will suit up an experienced group of 24 athletes this week when the nation hosts the 2023 Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships at Whistler Olympic Park, January 27 – February 5.

Nordiq Canada will send six women and six men to the Junior World Championships, as well as six women and six men for the Under-23 events. Born out of clubs located in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and the Yukon, the high-powered group of developing athletes include nine athletes who are making a return trip to the premier international event on the race calendar. All of them are competing in an international cross-country ski race for the first time at home.

“This is a young group with an exciting mix of athletes with international experience and first timers who are loaded with tremendous potential and drive,” said Chris Jeffries, High-Performance Directors, Nordiq Canada. “This group of athletes represent the future of our sport and share a common goal of achieving their performance goals at this critical event on the race calendar.”

The 10-day nordic festival, that will bring together the world’s best athletes ages 16-23 in cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined, is sure to restore the excitement and memories that brought Whistler Olympic Park to life during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

More than 700 athletes – ages 16-23 – representing 50 countries are expected to compete for the podium on Whistler’s ski trails and jumping towers. A developing group of Canadian cross-country skiers, including Rémi Drolet (British Columbia) and Xavier McKeever (Alberta), who shocked the world to win the nation’s first-ever silver medal in the relay event at the 2020 World Juniors, are being counted on to lead the Canadian charge.

Drolet, a 2022 Olympian, has competed at three World Juniors, one Under-23 World Championship event, and represented Canada at the senior World Ski Championships in 2021. McKeever will be making his fifth World Junior Championship experience at just 19 years of age.

Liliane Gagnon (Quebec City), who has been competing in her rookie season on the World Cup this year, will make her fourth trip to the event, and first competing in the U23 category. Anna Parent (Canmore, Alta.), Marielle Ackermann (Kimberley, B.C.), and Jasmine Lyons (Ottawa), will make their second appearances.

“Providing our young athletes with home snow advantage at a major international event will provide a critical test along their journey to represent Canada at future Olympics. Just as importantly, our hope is that bringing these talented athletes to the west coast will also help foster Olympic dreams in Canada’s youth, inspiring them to try our sports and get on skis,” added Jeffries.

Each of the athletes earned a coveted spot on Team Canada based on their results at the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials held last weekend in Prince George, B.C.

The following is a complete list of Canada’s 2020 Junior and Under-23 World Championship Teams.

JUNIOR WOMENCLUBHOMETOWN  COACH
AlexandraLuxmooreRevelstoke NordicRevelstoke, B.C.  Zach Hill
AlisonMackieEdmonton Nordic Ski ClubEdmonton, Alta.  Ulf Kleppe
AnnaStewartNakkertok Nordic/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademyThunder Bay, Ont.  Nikki Gilman
ConstanceLapointeWhitehorse Ski ClubWhitehorse, YK  Alain Masson
MaeveMacleodRevelstoke NordicRevelstoke, B.C.  Zach Hill
MarlieMolinaroRevelstoke NordicWhistler, B.C.  Nikki Gilman
U23 WOMEN   
AmeliaWellsStrathcona Nordics/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademySaanich, B.C.  Jouni Pitkänen
AnnaParentCanmore Nordic Ski ClubCanmore, Alta.  Alain Parent
JasmineLyonsNakkertok NordicOttawa, Ont.  Corey Schwartz
LilianeGagnonSkibec/Léviski La Balade/ Centre national d’entraînement Pierre-HarveyQuebec City, Que.  Louis Bouchard
MarielleAckermannKimberley Nordic Ski ClubKimberley, B.C.  Chris Manhard /   Frank Ackermann
SonjaaSchmidtWhitehorse Ski Club/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademyWhitehorse, YK  Jouni Pitkänen
JUNIOR MEN   
GarrettSieverTelemark NordicKelowna, B.C.  Adam Elliot
LukeAllanNakkertok NordicOttawa, Ont.  Brayton Osgood
Noah Weir-Chaba Canmore Nordic Ski ClubEdmonton, Alta.  Alain Parent
RaleighTarteKimberley NordicKimberley, B.C.  Frank Ackermann
RyPriorChelsea Nordiq/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademyChelsea, Que.  Jouni Pitkänen
XavierMcKeeverFoothills Nordic Ski Club/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademyCanmore, Alta.  Tormod Vatten
U23 MEN   
EricksonMooreFondeurs-Laurentides/ National Team Development Centre Thunder Bay Montreal, Que  Timo Purias
KendynMashinterWalden Cross Country/ National Team Development Centre Thunder Bay Sudbury, Ont.  Timo Puiras
LukeFrickerCanmore Nordic Ski ClubCanmore, Alta.  Alain Parent
MaxHollmannBig Thunder Nordic Ski Club/ Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup AcademyThunder Bay, Ont.  Tormod Vatten
RémiDroletBlack Jack Cross Country Ski ClubRossland, B.C.   Dave Wood
SashaMassonWhitehorse Cross Country Ski Club/ Centre national d’entraînement Pierre-HarveyWhitehorse, YK   Louis Bouchard
Staff SUPPORT ROLE HOMETOWN 
Ericde Nys  Head Coach – Trip LeaderVernon, B.C.   
 MattSnider  Assistant CoachRevelstoke, B.C.  
EmilyYoung  U20 CoachKelowna, B.C.  
TormodVatten  U23 CoachHalsa, Norway  
LeslieBode  Wax TechnicianThunder Bay, Ont.    
JoelJaques  Wax Technician – Lead KickPenticton, B.C.    
YvesBilodeau  Wax Technician – Lead Glide Quebec City, Que.  
FrankAckermann  Wax Technician – Team DoctorKimberley, B.C.    
CamilleCheskey  Wax TechnicianGatineau, Que.    
LahavWolach  Wax TechnicianCalgary, Alta.    
AlexMacDonald  Wax TechnicianKelowna, B.C.    
JodiPeras  RMT – Para-Medical LeadCanmore, Alta.    
JessicaKryski  Physiology – IST LeadNakusp, B.C.    
        

This will be the third time Canada hosts the Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships. The Canmore Nordic Centre welcomed the next generation of Olympians in 1997. The World Juniors for ski jumping and Nordic combined were also held in Mont-Sainte Anne, Que. in 1979. It will be the first major international event at Whistler Olympic Park since the 2010 Games.

Race Schedule: The race schedule can be viewed here

Tickets:

Event spectator tickets are $5/person for a 1-day event ticket, or $25 for access on all event days. Kids ages 6 & under get free access! Those who have a regular Whistler Olympic Park day ticket or season pass for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing can spectate for free. Purchase tickets online here, or at the gate at Whistler Olympic Park.

Live Streaming:

The majority of the events are being livestreamed.  More livestream information here

Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Swix, Lanctôt Sports, Polar and Pembroke – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at https://nordiqcanada.ca.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Nordiq Canada

T: 403-620-8731