Yukon cross country skier Dahria Beatty will have a busy ski season ahead of her. After the previous season had fewer races, the National team will be back to a full slate of world cup races.
It will be an extra exciting year of Beatty as she tries to make Team Canada at her second Olympic Games in Beijing, China in 2022.
To make the Olympics takes lots of training, and that’s how Beatty has been spending her summer. When she spoke to the News, Beatty was at a training camp in California doing high-altitude sessions.
The altitude training, Beatty said, is to help Team Canada prepare for Beijing as the cross-country venue is 1,750 to 1,800 metres above altitude.
“It is right at the max of the legal limits for cross country racing,” said Beatty. “Because the Olympics are at such a high altitude it’s helping us acclimatize to that intensity interval session, which are hard effort sessions that mimic base effort.”
Beatty still needs to qualify but the process began last season and will continue into the first World Cup period before Christmas. The team will be finalized just after Christmas, said Beatty.
“I’ve made part of the criteria,” said Beatty. “I did everything I could possibly do last year and then just have to perform well this season as well to be selected to the team.
“I’m definitely excited for the process of trying to make it there.”
Although the Olympics are looming, Beatty isn’t feeling any added pressure but acknowledged there is always some nerves before any season.
“I try and just focus on the process that I know is within me to meet the standard that they’re requiring,” said Beatty. “I just have to go there and do what I know my body is capable of and hopefully I can do that at the right time.
“I’m just looking forward to having some good racing on the World Cup circuit before Christmas.”
Beatty ended her 2020-21 season with a bang. In March 2021 while competing in Engadin, Switzerland, Beatty posted two personal bests.
She raced to 23rd in the 10-kilometre classic mass start and followed the performance with a 15th-place finish in the 30-kilometre pursuit.
Beatty’s 15th place result tied her best performance in a World Cup competition and was her best placing in a distance race ever. She said she’s hoping she can keep the momentum up.
“You always start the season and hope you can be where you left off,” said Beatty. “I’ve had a very good training season. There haven’t been any injuries or complications and everything’s been going as planned and hitting the training benchmarks.
“I’m very optimistic that I can carry the momentum I ended last year with into this new season.”
Beatty said that there are always details that can be refined.
“Each season something new or extra pops up and you’re like ‘I did this well last year but there’s a gap here,’” said Beatty. “There’s always little things but also just trying to increase my entire capacity of my base level.”
Outside of working on technical aspects of skiing, execution and tactics, Beatty said capacity building is about bringing up her threshold and making her average fitness higher.
“When you’re pushing all out you want to see it a little bit faster than it was the previous year,” said Beatty.
Her goals for the season begin with making the Olympic team. Once at the Olympics, Beatty wants to compete in the team sprint finals.
“It’s my favourite event in racing, the team sprint, and something I’ve always hoped to accomplish and haven’t quite yet. That’s definitely one of my biggest goals.”
Beatty also said making the individual sprint final is right up there on her goals list. Lastly, she said she’d be “super happy” with a consistent race season.
“There’s always going to be a few one-off races, but I to be able to string together three weeks of racing in a row that I’m super happy with,” said Beatty.
If she can string together those three-week spans, Beatty said she’ll put herself in good overall standing at the World Cup as well as be competitive in points.
Contact John Tonin at email@example.com