Yukon skiers make their mark at world championships

Never before had three Whitehorse cross-country skiers competed together at a senior world championships and they made their presence known.

Never before had three Whitehorse cross-country skiers competed together at a senior world championships and they made their presence known.

Knute Johnsgaard, Dahria Beatty and Olympian Emily Nishikawa were among the best on the Canadian team at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last week in Lahti, Finland.

Last week was Beatty’s first senior world championships.

“It was an awesome experience and it was so wonderful to have so much support from the Whitehorse ski club and community,” said Beatty in an email to the News. “I was really happy with how hard I fought in each race. During world champs my body wasn’t feeling as good as I had been the week prior … but I gave everything in each race and still had pretty strong and consistent results posting top-40s in all my races.”

Thanks to Beatty, Nishikawa and teammates Cendrine Browne and Katherine-Stewart Jones, Canada saw one of its best finishes in over a decade and a half.

The four placed 10th out of 15 in the women’s 4×5-kilometre relay on March 2, marking Canada’s third-best finish ever in the event and the highest since 2001.

“I struggled a bit and had higher hopes for my individual performances, but was thrilled with the relay race,” said Nishikawa in an email. “It is such a unique race where you are racing your heart out for your teammates and we all came together and did just that, so that was very special to share in that success with my teammates.”

“The relay was the most exciting race for me,” said Beatty. “My teammates skied great and it was so awesome to be able to anchor the team.”

Beatty also teamed up with Browne to place 13th out of 17 in the team sprint on Feb. 26. She opened the championships placing 37th in the women’s sprint as the top Canadian on Feb. 23. The 22-year-old followed that up with a 39th-place finish in the 10-kilometre classic on Feb. 28 and 34th in the 30-kilometre free on March 4.

“This was only my second 30K ever,” said Beatty. “I went out fast with the pack and tried to stay with the group as long as possible. It was a really hard but fun race.”

Nishikawa, who was competing at her third senior worlds, placed 38th in the women’s 15-kilometre skiathlon on Feb. 25 and was the second Canadian, one spot behind teammate Stewart-Jones. The 27-year-old also took 37th in the 10-kilometre classic and 40th in the 30-kilometre free.

Johnsgaard, like Beatty, was at his first senior worlds.

“I’m feeling quite run down at this point in the season but was quite happy with how I raced considering,” said Johnsgaard in an email. “I didn’t have any stand out results but every race was a great experience, something I hope I can build on leading into my next major championships — the Olympics next year!”

Johnsgaard finished the championships with a 55th in the 50-kilometre free on March 3, a race that saw Canadian Alex Harvey take gold. The 24-year-old also placed 56th in the 15-kilometre classic on March 1, finishing as the second Canadian. Johnsgaard’s top result was 53rd in the men’s sprint on Feb. 23 and he also placed 55th in the 30-kilometre skiathlon on Feb. 25.

“There was a big Canadian flag signed by a ton of up and coming Yukon skiers that made it all the way to Finland! That was awesome, and meant a lot to the three Yukoners on the start line for Canada, myself included,” said Johnsgaard.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read