Top Cross Country Ski Racers Competing in Thunder Bay

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Alannah MacLean

THUNDER BAY – Sports – Over the next four days over 300 of Canada’s top cross-country ski racers will be competing at the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario to take part in the Haywood Noram World Jr/U23 Trials, World Senior Sprint Trials and the Ontario Cup Race. At a media conference at the Prince Arthur Hotel on Wednesday, MPP Bill Mauro stated, “I’m pleased we were able to support the Lappe Nordic Ski Club to acquire this equipment. It will allow their tremendous volunteers to host top caliber ski competitions this year and will serve their club and Northwestern Ontario for years to come”.

#29 Amie Mathews from Thunder Bay Photo By:Nathan Ogden
#29 Amie Mathews from Thunder Bay
Photo By:Nathan Ogden

Erin Tribe, of the the NDC’s top athetes shared how being from Thunder Bay gives her a “hometown advantage”.

Tribe says, “I want to thank all those who have made this event possible. From the local artisan gift prizes, the great sponsors, to the tireless volunteers who have been shoveling day in and day out, I have no doubt that it will be one of the best races ever”.

“I encourage all of Thunder Bay to come out and watch some incredible ski racing and to enjoy some of the best Finnish pancakes in the area”.

Thunder Bay has a rich history of hosting cross-country ski events – with the largest Finnish-speaking population outside of Finland this comes as no surprise.

Bill Mauro speaking at Prince Arthur Hotel during press conference - photo Lynda Henshell
Bill Mauro speaking at Prince Arthur Hotel during press conference – photo Lynda Henshell

In the last fifteen years Thunder Bay has hosted the World Nordic Ski Championships (1995), the National Ski Championships (2000, 2006), the Noram/Continental Cup (1998, 2004),  World Junior/U23 trials (2011) and every year it hosts the Sleeping Giant Loppet and the 24 hour relay event (where several world records have been attempted).

Today’s race is a skiathlon event (athletes do the first half of the race in classic technique, change equipment in a transition zone, and do the next half in skate technique).  Start list for times tomorrow is as follows:

Senior Women at 9:30 am – 15km skiathlon (World U23 selection)
Junior Women at 10:50am  – 10km skiathlon (World Junior Selection)
Senior Men at 11:50 am  – 30km skiathlon (World U23 Selection)
Junior Men at 1:20pm –    20km skiathlon (World Junior Selection)

Ontario Cup Individual start classic races start at 2pm

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