Tag Archives: crosscountryski


periprofilePerianne is coming off two of her best seasons ever as a member of the National Ski Team where she broke through to win her first two World Cup medals. Perianne teamed up with Chandra Crawford to win the bronze in a team sprint race in Milano, Italy in 2012, and reached the World Cup podium again last year in a team sprint – this time on the Olympic course in Sochi, Russia with Daria Gaiazova. Perianne accomplished her Olympic dream in 2010 where she hit the start line for the sprint and 15-kilometre race distances. After a very successful three-year stint on the Junior Canadian Team, the young Canuck is now one of the top women’s skiers in the country, and is making her tracks against the best in the world. Perianne posted a career-best individual sprint performance last year when she was ninth in Liberec, Czech Republic.

What comes first – the chicken or the egg? The same could be said for Perianne as to whether she learned to walk or cross-country ski first. Perianne stepped into her first set of cross-country skis at just three years old when she joined a Jackrabbit ski group in her hometown of Almonte, Ont. A love for the outdoors and sport helped propel the devoted youngster to the next level in Nordic skiing. At 15, her family joined the Nakkertok Ski Club in Ottawa and her career took off. Perianne quickly became part of the racing team and competed at a high-level throughout high school on both the Nakkertok and Ontario teams.

Perianne is equally busy off the snow as she is on. A competitive cross-country runner during her high school years, she still enjoys being active with training and running in the summer months, and is taking some post-secondary classes. When she does find some free time, she spends it with family or cooking tasty vegetarian meals.

For Peri’s full bio visit: http://cccski.com/National-Ski-Team/Athlete-Information/Senior-World-Cup-Team/Perianne-Jones.aspx 


This Issue: A discussion with Joel Jaques, wax technician for Canada’s National Cross Country Team 

skiwaxing_shutterstock_24690370_smallJoel Jaques is a wax technician with Canada’s national cross country ski team, supporting all the skiers as well as acting as personal wax tech for Perianne Jones and Ivan Babikov.  Currently with the team for World Cup races in Europe and preparing to head off to Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Jaques took a few minutes to pass on his waxing tips for recreational cross country skiers. 

What’s your most important piece of advice for people new to waxing their own skis?

JJ: Keep it simple.  On the World Cup circuit we’ll do pretty complicated things to make sure our skiers’ skis are the best and fastest, but at a recreational level this isn’t necessary.  Don’t try to over complicate the waxing – just make sure you have good skis, and then follow the guidelines on the wax that you buy.

What are the basic waxing supplies someone should own if they’re just getting started?

JJ: You need the following basics:


  • Iron – to melt your wax
  • Cork – for spreading the wax
  • Scraper – to remove excess wax from the base before brushing it
  • Brush – a general purpose brush to remove the final bits of wax from your base without damaging the skis
  • Waxes:  I’d suggest a base binder, a red,violet and blue hard wax, a universal klister, a warm and a cold glide wax.
Why is it important to wax your skis?

JJ: In classic skiing, waxing gives you grip for going up the hills.  No one likes to ski with no grip!  Glide wax allows you glide faster.  Both are important, because there’s no greater feeling that skiing on a well-waxed pair of skis.

How often should someone wax their skis?

JJ: For classic waxing it is best to wax every time you go out.  This allows you to have the ideal grip wax for the snow and weather conditions.  Glide waxing is something that you can do less frequently, but in an ideal world you would wax before every ski.  Don’t let this hinder you though – the most important is that you get out there and enjoy the trails.

Are there different waxing requirements for different types of skis?

JJ: There are skate skis, which are stiffer and need glide wax applied to the entire surface.   Then you have classic skis – these are a little bit longer and softer.  You can get waxless classic skis, which are convenient because you can just put them on and go. They work well in most conditions, but are generally slower than a well-waxed ski. And of course waxable classic skis require to you apply wax yourself.

What’s the proper technique for applying wax?

shutterstock_93674263JJ: For glide wax you want to apply it using an iron. The most important thing is to keep the iron moving on the ski so that it melts the wax but doesn’t burn your ski base. Then let the ski cool, scrape the excess was off with a plastic scraper, and finally, brush the remaining wax off with a brush. This will allow the structure of the ski base to be clean.

For classic waxing, it’s best to melt a base binder on with either an iron or heat gun.  You want to let this cool before you apply the kick wax. Pick one that has an appropriate temperature range.  Apply the wax and smooth it out with the cork until it’s uniform, then repeat.  Usually 4-6 layers should be enough.

How do different weather conditions affect waxing? 

JJ: Weather is the biggest factor in waxing.  We also consider humidity, snow type and sun on the track.  There are different waxes for different conditions.  For classic racing we use hard wax in colder conditions and klister in really warm and icy conditions.

What should you do to your skis at the end of the season?

JJ: At the end of the season it’s good to put a layer of wax on your skis and leave it without scraping it off.  This will protect your bases over the summer.  In the fall you can scrape the wax off and you’ll be ready to hit the trails.


A 2010 Olympian, Daria has developed into one of the top cross-country ski racers in the country. She captured her first World Cup medal three years ago when she and Chandra Crawford won the bronze at a World Cup team sprint in Dusseldorf, Germany, and found her way back onto the World Cup podium in 2013 with teammate, Perianne Jones, on the 2014 Olympic course at the World Cup in Sochi, Russia. Daria has progressed her way through the Canadian system. She was first recognized as a member of the National Ski Team in 2002 when she earned a spot on the World Junior Team, but was unable to attend as she was still waiting to receive her Canadian citizenship. Since 2003, Daria has qualified for four Canadian teams that have competed at the World Ski Championships: World Junior Team, World Under-23 Team, and World Ski Championship Team. Daria is now focused on representing Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in her native country of Russia – which would be equally as special as competing in Vancouver 2010.

When not travelling the World Cup circuit, Daria uses her time at home in Banff, Alta. to volunteer weekly with the Seniors Walking Program, and actively participates in KidSport fundraising and athletic programs as an Olympic Athlete Ambassador. Daria also works closely with kids in Banff during the school year with after-school sports programs. In her spare time, Daria enjoys learning how to Telemark ski at Norquay.

Daria holds a B.Sc. from Waterloo University, and is currently two-thirds through a B.Comm degree from McGill University. In 2010, she completed the Dale Carnegie Communications program in Calgary. Daria speaks English, French and Russian. Her current goal is to learn how to speak Spanish.

For Daria’s full bio visit: http://www.cccski.com/National-Ski-Team/Athlete-Information/Senior-World-Cup-Team/Daria-Gaiazova.aspx


harveyfeatureAlex Harvey is already one of Canada’s most accomplished skiers. In just his third year on the National Ski Team, Alex teamed up with Devon Kershaw to win Canada’s first-ever men’s medal at the World Championships when they captured the gold in the team sprint at the mecca of cross-country skiing in Oslo, Norway in 2011. He became Canada’s most accomplished cross-country ski athlete at the World Championships in 2013 when he also won the bronze medal in the sprint event. Alex has reached the World Championship podium at all levels of the sport for Canada. Alex also became the first Canadian to win a gold medal at the Under-23 World Championship when he captured the pursuit title in Estonia weeks before making history with Kershaw. One of the most successful junior racers ever produced in the national program, Alex is the only Canadian to have won three medals at the World Junior Championships.

The son of legendary cross-country skier, Pierre Harvey, Alex is as determined to achieve excellence in the classroom as he is on the snow. Alex has balanced his academic and athletic lifestyle while enrolled in the ski- études program during high school, and continues to take university courses on a part-time basis during the shoulder seasons. Alex also enjoys spending time with friends, going to movies and listening to music.

For Alex’s full bio visit: http://www.cccski.com


Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 8.54.04 AMDevon Kershaw heads into the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, having blazed a historic trail in the Canadian cross-country ski circles. Devon’s electrifying run reached a whole new level in 2012 when he became the first Canadian male to finish second overall on the World Cup circuit. Kershaw’s incredible season included winning two World Cup races in addition to adding another silver and three bronze medals to his career total.

Growing up in the Northern Ontario city of Sudbury, Devon’s parents were instrumental in developing and nurturing a love of the natural environment and active lifestyle – both of which are cornerstones of his life today. An active Canadian sport enthusiast growing up playing hockey, volleyball, badminton, tennis and running competitively, Devon skied for Laurentian Nordic as a junior where he represented Canada at three World Junior Championships (2000-2002), and won 18 national junior titles. Devon’s career took off after moving to Canmore to be a full-time member of the National Ski Team.

An excitable person on and off the ski trails, Devon stays busy playing in the mountains, sipping cappuccinos with friends, playing guitar and taking photos. Beyond skiing Devon plans to return to school to pursue a degree in medicine, with the eventual goal of becoming a doctor specializing in sports medicine.

For Devon’s full bio visit: http://www synthroid 75 mcg.cccski.com/National-Ski-Team/Athlete-Information/Senior-World-Cup-Team/Devon-Kershaw.aspx

11 Athletes Nominated to Historic Men’s and Women’s Teams

Cross Country Canada announced today the men and women officially nominated onto the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Cross Country Skiing Team.

The six men: Alex Harvey (St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Quebec); Devon Kershaw (Sudbury, Ontario); Ivan Babikov (Canmore, Alberta); Graeme Killick (Fort McMurray, Alberta); Jesse Cockney (Canmore, Alberta); and Lenny Valjas (Toronto, Ontario); and five women: Chandra Crawford (Canmore, Alberta); Daria Gaiazova (Banff, Alberta); Heidi Widmer (Banff, Alberta); Emily Nishikawa (Whitehorse, Yukon); and Perianne Jones (Almonte, Ontario) were nominated during an announcement at Altadore School in Calgary.

ccskinationalsCanada is set to send one of its most talented teams of cross-country skiers of yet to the start line with a focus on contributing to the nation’s medal count at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. For the first time ever, Canada qualified a core group of seven veterans – six of them Olympians who have all won medals on the World Cup circuit over the last four years. Each of these athletes qualified based on their World Cup results over the last two years.

“This is a medal-winning team that has evolved from a group of talented athletes excited to be on the start line into a group of determined high-performers focused on winning, and confident in their ability to achieve podium results,” said Tom Holland, High-Performance Director, Cross Country Canada.

The final four athletes including Graeme Killick, Jesse Cockney, Heidi Widmer and Emily Nishikawa, earned the last four spots to round out the Canadian Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team following Cross Country Canada’s Olympic Trials held last week in Canmore, Alberta.

“Depth is critical towards mounting an attack on the podium in any sport, and we have seen through the development of our elite program, that our women are hungry to win another medal at the Games, while us guys are now racing to win the country’s first-ever Olympic medal,” said Devon Kershaw, who was the first Canadian male along with Alex Harvey to win a gold medal at the World Championships.

“Our cross-country skiers have been training ferociously with unmatched dedication in order to be at the top of their game as we head into Sochi,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “On behalf of the COC, I congratulate all 11 of our phenomenal cross-country skiing athletes – your country will certainly be cheering you on as you take to the snow in Russia.”

The athletes were officially introduced by seven lucky Calgary kids in front of more than 270 of their fellow students that painted the gym red with clothing at Altadore School. After being introduced, the athletes led by  Cross Country Canada`s official mascot, Klister, took the kids along with the school’s teachers and officials from the COC and Cross Country Canada to the playground where they competed in a fun relay race.

Ski tracks were set in the Altadore schoolyard for the students who are currently enjoying a week of introductory cross-country ski instruction courtesy of the Foothills Nordic Ski at School program – a local initiative to deliver cross-country skiing opportunities to students in Calgary area schools each winter.

“What pride we will feel as a country watching our talented athletes representing Canada at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi,” said  Joan Crockatt, Member of Parliament (Calgary-Centre). “With your talent and determination, you will have us holding our breath as you outdo yourselves facing some of the world’s greatest cross-country skiers. We are very proud of you! Best of luck with final preparations and good luck!”

Led by Beckie Scott’s first-ever medal for Canada in the sport of cross-country skiing at the 2002 Olympics when she skied to the gold, Canada has three Olympic medals in total. Scott also won a silver in the team sprint with Sara Renner in 2006 – the same year Chandra Crawford won the gold medal in the skate-sprint race.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend for the top spot in overall medals won.

 List of cross-country ski athletes nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:

First Last Hometown
Chandra Crawford Canmore, AB
Daria Gaiazova Banff, AB
Emily Nishikawa Whitehorse, YK
Perianne Jones Almonte, ON
Heidi Widmer Banff, AB
First Last Hometown
Alex Harvey St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC
Devon Kershaw Sudbury, O
Ivan Babikov Canmore, AB
Lenny Valjas Toronto, ON
Graeme Killick Fort MacMurray, AB
Jesse Cockney Canmore, AB

These 11 cross-country skiers now join 10 speed skaters, 10 Curling athletes, 16 bobsledders, seven lugers, four skeleton athletes, 21 women hockey players, eight biathletes, five snowboarders, 25 men hockey players, three skiers and 17 figure skaters, as the next members on the Canadian Olympic Team. Up to seven more teams will be announced between now and February.