One of the biggest events of the nordic skiing season, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, is just around the corner. With huge crowds, the best athletes from around the world, and a variety of events, this is a can’t-miss event for any nordic skiing fan. Read on to get familiar with the event, meet the athletes, and brush up on your knowledge of Team Canada!
A city of 38,000 inhabitants, located in Sweden, Falun was named a world heritage site in 2001 by the United Nations. Falun has a history of hosting many high-level nordic skiing events, including the world championships. Currently held every other year, Falun has hosted the world championships three times – in ’54, ’74 & ’93. In 1954, an estimated 115,000 spectators watched 500 athletes from 21 nations compete, and while doing so set a record for attendance at a single winter sport event in Sweden when 50,000 watched the ski jumping final. The record wouldn’t be broken until Falun again hosted the nordic world championships, in 1993.
The world championships contain three disciplines of nordic skiing – cross country, ski jumping, and nordic combined, the latter of which is a combination sport consisting of one run of ski jumping, and one run of cross country. Canada has hosted the nordic skiing world championships once, in 1995 in Thunder Bay, and this marked only the second time the event had been held outside of Europe. Spread out over eleven competition days, there are twelve different races on the programme for both men and women. The event kicks off Feb. 18th and wraps up March 1st.
Building on Success in 2013
Although Canada failed to win a medal when it hosted the event in ’95, Team Canada has since won three medals at the world championships – one gold and two bronze medals. Canada’s most accomplished cross-country skiing athlete, Alex Harvey, has won a medal in each of the last two world championships – a gold in the team sprint in 2011 in Norway with team-mate Devon Kershaw, and a bronze in the individual sprint event in 2013 in Italy.
This year, Canada will look to build on its success of late at the world championships, and add to its medal count. The following athletes will represent Cross Country Canada:
Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov, Len Valijad, Jesse Cockney, Graeme Killick, Perianne Jones, Emily Nishikawa & Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt.
Join us in cheering on our athletes as they compete to show the world that #weownsnow