Athlete Profile: Lenny Valjas


Len has emerged as another one of Canada’s great young cross-country skiers after posting back-to-back medal-winning seasons with a silver and bronze medal this year at the World Cup Tour de Ski. Len’s breakthrough season came in 2012 when he won a silver and two bronze medals on the World Cup. The youngest member of the Canadian World Cup Team, Len is a three-time Canadian National Sprint Champion. Len was accepted to the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont. (2007-08), and trained at the Pierre Harvey National Team Development Centre (CNEPH) in Mont Ste. Anne, Que. last year. The sprint specialist also finished 15th at the World Championships in Oslo, Norway in 2011. With the fast approaching Sochi Olympics on the horizon, Len enters his third year on the Canadian World Cup Team with commitment and purpose to reach his potential as an elite skier.

Len’s Nordic heritage (Estonian/Swedish) introduced him to cross-country skiing as his parent’s would haul him around ski trails in a backpack as an infant. After getting involved in youth programs at his home club, his progression through the Jackrabbit and Development Team programs at Hardwood helped to prepare him for his journey as a cross-country skier. Len is very grateful to his parents who have supported him since the beginning, his home club, Hardwood, for believing in him, and his coaches and teammates who have helped motivate him to be the best athlete he can be.

Len participated in many sports as a youngster, and by the time he was 17, he excelled in two sports in particular: mountain biking and cross-country skiing. That year (2006) Len had the distinction of being named to the provincial teams in both sports. Soon after, Len realized that a decision had to be made, as to which sport he would focus on. He chose cross-country skiing and has never wavered in pursuit of achieving his Olympic dream. When Len is not skiing he loves to spend as much time in the water as he can. Two of Len’s favorite things to do are windsurfing and surfing. After every season Len spends a month and a half in Maui playing in the water and loving life.

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