Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt and Leo Grandbois Golden at Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals
THUNDER BAY, Ont.—Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt and Leo Grandbois skied to gold at the finish line of the 30-kilometre mass start classic-ski courses this St. Patrick’s Day.
The two Canucks finished on top of the nation in the most difficult test of all – a cross-country ski marathon that was reduced from 50km to 30km for all competitors – to cap off the 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals on Friday in Thunder Bay, Ont.
A 2022 Olympian, Bouffard-Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.) captured her third individual medal of the week and second victory after clocking a time of 1:58:00.7 in her four trips around the 7.5-kilometre tracks. Leo Grandbois, Orford, clocked a winning time of 1:34:27.0 in the men’s 30-kilometre race.
Anna Stewart, who is a member of Nakkertok Nordic, was tops in the U20 women’s 20-kilometre classic-ski race with a time of 1:17:53, while Alexis Ermel (Mont-Sainte-Anne) was crowned U20 men’s champ.
“It feels great. It is always a huge honour to win a National title. The 30km is the most traditional racing in cross-country skiing and to win it at Nationals feels good.”
“I feel lucky that my advantage today was my experience and confidence as the strengths I had in this race. I leaned into this race. A huge shout out to Amelia Wells today. Amelia skied hard and did a lot of leading and that was a really gutsy performance in these weather conditions.”
“I skied my own race, my own strengths and was happy to follow whoever wanted to lead.”
“Strategy and nothing else today. I knew it would be slow, hard conditions. I tried not to be at the front as long as possible. I just stayed patient until the last lap, and when I decided to push the pace Julien went for it, so it was a bit of a gift from God to stick with him and put a gap on the other guys. While I was working with him, I was behind him, so I was a bit fresher for the hills. I’m happy – the brain worked more than the shape.”
“This morning I woke up, I was shaking. This was one of the races with the most pressure, but I usually perform well under pressure. I came here for a COC leader spot so I could not be more happy. This is the end of the season I was looking for.”
“Today was a mental game and a strategy game. I played my cards very well. I was ready to go to war. I was ready to give everything. The snow and cold didn’t bother me. I needed that (COC) spot, and I was willing to do whatever it took for it.”
Open Women – 30km Open Men – 30km
1.Olvia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Fondeurs-Laurentides) 1:58:00.7 1. Leo Grandbois (Orford) 1:34:27.0
2. Amelia Wells (Strathcona Nordic) 1:58:23.2 2. Erikso Moore (Fondeurs-Laurentides) 1:34:51.7
3. Maggie McClure (Carleton University) 2:00:13.8 3. Julian Smith (Georgian Bay Nordic) 1:35:09.6
U20 Women – 20km U20 Men – 20km
1 Anna Stewart (Nakkertok Nordic) 1:17:53.2 1. Alexis Ermel (Mont-Sainte-Anne) 1:04:47.5
2. Katya Semeniuk (Nakkertok Nordic) 1:18 :04.7 2. Samuel Picard Fondeurs-Laurentides) 1:04:50.6
3. Elie-Anne Tremblay (Skibec) 1:18:41 3. Ian Mayer (Telemark Nordic) 1 :04 :59.3
Complete Results: https://zone4.ca/event/2023/E39212D4/
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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