Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Scott and Renner: Creating a Cross-Country Dynasty

The Olympian I admire the most is Beckie Scott. She has courage and gritty persistence, which is probably why she's only the second Canadian -- of 3 now, all women I might add -- who has launched out of Canada's chronic 40th or 60th positions in cross-country skiing onto the podium. Her keen sense of injustice drove her to hunt down the perpetrators who cheated her out of a gold in the last Olympics and the ones who could change things until the right thing was done. I noticed a difference in the line-up this year, probably as a result of her hard work in removing the vermin damaging her sport. And now Scott has an able team-mate in Sara Renner.

I have to admit I'm puzzled at Canada's dismal placings in cross-country skiing events. We have a country blessed with rugged terrain, high altitudes and low, flats and mountains and hills, a cornucopia of places all across the land to hone one's physical conditioning and cross-country skiing skills. Yet except for 3 women in cross-country and biathlon, we have sucked. It's not like we're excelling in the alpine events and can excuse our poor showing by saying that all our money is going there. If it is, it's not paying off well (yet, I know, we're rebuilding for 2010).

"Winning values. Let's pass them on." Rona slogan.

I hope Myriam Bedard's lone trail blazing, Scott's inspiration, and Renner making it a team of two will turn things around, and not only encourage women, but also fire up the men to acquire winning values in cross-country skiing.

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