Four Canadian cross-country skiers will stride into Lausanne, Switzerland for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games, January 9-22.
Nordiq Canada officially nominated two women and two men to represent Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games, which brings together more than 1,880 athletes ages 15 to 18, from 70 nations, who will compete in more than 80 events.
Jasmine Drolet (Rossland, B.C.) and Liliane Gagnon (Quebec) will toe the line in the women’s race. Two Whitehorse athletes, Derek Dueling and Sasha Masson, will wear the Canadian colours in the men’s competitions.
“These athletes have proven they can win against the best in their age group across the country,” said Joel Jaques, high-performance manager, Nordiq Canada. “They are continuously pushed at domestic events by a growing talent pool of cross-country skiers, which has prepared them well to achieve excellence in Switzerland.”
Jasmine Drolet, 17, is a Canada Winter Games champion who also placed second in the 2019 Rising Stars race at the World Cup in Quebec City. Liliane Gagnon, who will turn 17 on December 28, was the aggregate winner in her age category at the 2019 Canadian Ski Championships.
Two 17-year-olds out of Canada’s north will chase the men’s podium. Derek Dueling has racked up seven medals in his age group at the Canadian Ski Championships over the last two years. The son of two Olympic cross-country skiers (Allan Masson and Lucy Steele-Masson), Sasha Masson is ready for his own taste of the Olympics. Masson won a bronze medal in the team sprint, and had three, top-10 finishes in distance races at the Canadian Ski Championships in 2019.
Matt Smider and Katie McMahon will share coaching responsibilities for Canada’s cross-country squad in the Olympic Capital.
Athletes will compete in a skate-ski sprint race (January 18), another skate sprint race that features several technical elements including jumps and turns (January 19), a 5- and 10-kilometre classic-ski event (January 21), and a mixed team relay (January 22).