Yukon cross-country skier Dahria Beatty wrapped up her final ski at the Beijing Olympics on Feb. 20 with a 39th place finish in the women’s 30-kilometre free technique.
She finished with a time of 1:36:08.2, less than a second behind China’s Chi Chunxue who came in at 1:35:41 to place 30th.
“It was an awesome experience,” Beatty said after the race, reflecting on her overall experience at her second Olympic Games. “I’m happy to have had some really strong results across the board. To have the entire team have strong performances, it was an awesome Games to be a part of.”
Beatty saw personal best results during the Games, skiing to an 18th place finish in the women’s 10-km classic (where she was also the top Canadian), 28th in the skiathlon and 25th in the sprint. She also helped the women’s team ski to a ninth-place finish in the 4×5 relay, marking the best Olympic result the Canadian women’s team has seen in the event in 20 years.
The 30-kilometre race marked the final event for women’s cross-country skiing at the Games.
In a social media post, Beatty highlighted the extreme wind that skiers faced.
“Some of the wildest wind conditions I’ve ever raced in and my 6th event of the Games,” she wrote. “Not going to lie, I was feeling pretty tired out there today, but I’m super happy with my Olympics as a whole and proud to be able to check an Olympic 30 off my bucket list.
“Shoutout to the team behind our team for the amazing support and skis as always!”
The event also saw Cendrine Browne set a new Canadian record by finishing 16th with a time of 1:31:21.6, Nordiq Canada said in a statement. Prior to the 2022 Olympics, the previous Canadian record was set by a Yukoner, Lucy Steele who placed 33rd at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France with a time of 1:33:35.7.
“This feels amazing to finish the Olympics on such a high note. I’m beyond happy,” Browne said.
She maintained a steady pace throughout the four laps that featured long, steep climbs and gusty conditions at the Zhangjiakou National Cross-Country Skiing Centre, Nordiq Canada noted in its statement.
The final 7.5 kilometres of the race saw Browne climb 13 spots to her 16th place finish.
“I’m really happy with how I was able to manage my energy and keep my energy until the last lap,” Browne said. “When there was an attack, I was able to follow today. Wow, what an epic race. It was so tough out here today.”
Teammate Katherine Stewart-Jones also skied into the top-30 for the second time in Beijing with a time of 1:32:33.3.
“It was a tough race with really windy conditions, and a tough course, but I’m proud of how hard I pushed,” said Stewart-Jones. “Obviously I am a little disappointed because I was skiing in a group from 17th to 30th place. I was hoping to have more energy in the last lap, but I wasn’t able to hold on. I did the best I could with the energy I had today.”
Finally, for the Canadian women Laura Leclair placed 51st with a time of 1:40:14.5, Nordiq Canada noted.
“It was definitely hard, mentally and physically,” said Leclair. “The conditions and course were really hard, but I skied smart. I lost the pack at the start, but stayed there to conserve my energy throughout the race.”
The closing ceremonies for the 2022 Olympics were held Feb. 20 with Canada earning four gold, eight silver and 14 bronze over the 16 days of competition for 11th place overall.
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