A Yukoner named to the Canadian Olympic team was not the only exciting result that the Yukon cross country skiing community realized from trial races held earlier this months in Canmore Alberta.
Along with the exciting result of Dahria Beatty qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team, other Yukons skiers have earned places on elite teams.
Two Cross Country Yukon skiers will be heading for the World Junior Championships that will take place in Lynga, Norway in February. Sasha Masson and Derek Deuling were able to qualify for the team heading to Norway with their performance in Canmore.
Yukon Cross Country ski coach Alain Masson said the Norway-bound skiers’ departure date is February 8 giving them time for a ten-day training camp on the far side of the Atlantic before world championship racing begins.
“The races start Feb. 23, the last week of February, so they’ll get a good amount of time to fine tune, to get over the jetlag and the travel and get some good training in preparation for the world championships,” Masson said.
Another Yukon skier, Sonjaa Schmidt, just missed out on qualifying for the world juniors but will still be competing at a national level. She is joining other Canadian skiers on a US that began January 26 and runs through the first week of February.
Masson said the “super cup” competitions she will be racing in are the highest level of competition available in North America over the next few weeks. One weekend of racing will be held at Lake Placid in New York State and the other will be in Vermont.
Schmidt and Sasha Masson were also nominated for Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) funding cards. The program, funded by the Federal Government, seeks to relieve the financial pressure on high-performance athletes who compete internationally. Alain Masson said some of the AAP cards had not been distributed due to a lack of selection opportunities last year for skiers who did not compete internationally due to COVID.
Masson said it is exciting to see these Yukon Athletes getting the chance to race internationally.
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