• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Canada at the World Juniors Part 3: The 1980's

      9 novembre 2012

      The 1981 Championships were held in Schonach, Germany. Jenny Walker of Ottawa had a strong 13th place finish for the Canadian women. Competition was tough in the men's field, with 3rd, 4th and 5th places going to future stars Svan, Mikkelsplass and Smirnov. Canada was led by Quebec's Andre Tourigny in 45th and Regina's Owen Spence in 49th.

      Murau, Austria was the site of the 1982 Championships. On the women's side Marie-Andree Masson was the top Canadian in 38th. Manitoba's Clinton Reece and Jeff Wood, graduates of the initial Jackrabbit program were the top men, with soon to be long-time National Team racer, and Head Wax Technician, Yves Bilodeau making his international debut.

      The 1983 Championships were in Kuopio, Finland, with Carol Gibson of Camrose, Alberta and Dave Lumb of Ottawa having the top results for the Canadian contingent, 30th and 33rd respectively.

      The Championships moved to Norway for the first time in 1984, and Sault Ste. Marie's Wayne Dustin had the top result with a 21st in the men's race in Trondheim. Wayne teamed up with Team Ontario, Timmin's Frank Ferrari and Orangeville's Al Pilcher, to finish a strong 9th in the relay. Al, a CCC board member, would go on to set a long standing Senior Championship 50k standard for Canada of 7th in the 1989 Worlds. This mark was only surpassed by Alex Harvey in 2011, with a 5th place result in Oslo. Swix had just released their 4 glide wax system that season, (Red, Purple, Blue and Green) so serious glide wax testing made it's debut at the event, with the wax used on the tips and tails of what were still "classic skis".

      It was back to Switzerland, in the "shadow of the Matterhorn" as Zermatt/Tesch hosted the Juniors in 1985. The army had trucked and helicoptered in a ribbon of snow through the fields, due to an unusual dry spell (early global warming?). Mother Nature got the last laugh, dumping a meter of snow, the day before the first race, necessitating the track setters to run continuously, to provide a firm track for the races.

      Wayne Dustin of the Sault continued his fine performances with a 13th result, Canada's best since Bert Bullock in 1974. Jenny Stewart of Winnipeg was the top female in a strong 20th position. Both relay teams, finished a respectable 9th. This event was the first where skating techniques were used, with skating just becoming popularized at the beginning of the World Cup season.

      The World Juniors returned to North America in 1986 to Lake Placid, USA,  on the 1980 Olympic Trails. Missisauga, Ontario's Jane Vincent set a new Canadian standard, with a 4th place finish in the 15k race. This is the first year that 2 individual events and a relay were skied at the championships and there were no particular rules regarding technique. Benoit Letourneau of Mont. Rolland, Quebec and Darren Derochie of Onaping, Ontario had the top men's results with 20th and 21st. The relay team's both finished 7th.

      The 1987 championship was held in Asiago, Italy, the home of Rode waxes.  South America was represented for the first time with a team from Argentina. Dany Bouchard from La Tuque, Quebec had the top results with a 15th place finish in the 10k and 17th in the 30k.  Dany would go on to be the sole Canadian skier to compete at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehamar, Norway. Among his team mates were twin brothers from Brockville, Ontario, Hugh and Mark Wilson and CCC 's Eastern High Performance Coordinator Lisa Patterson.

      The 1988 World Juniors in Saalfelden, Austria featured a pair of strong individual results, for Canada. Hugh Wilson finished 12th in the 30k and Marie-Josee Pepin of La Tuque, 16th in the 5k.

      Vang, Norway hosted the 1989 World Juniors and La Tuque's Marie- Josee Pepin claimed Canada's first and only women's World Junior medal in the 15k skate event with a silver. MJ also finished 10th in the 5k event. The winner of both individual events was Italian ski legend Stafania Belmondo. Lars Taylor of Vernon, B.C. was the top Canadian male in 17th.

      Results and more information

      980 Ornskoldsvik Sweden
      1981 Schonach, Germany
      1982 Murau, Austria
      1983 Kuopio, Finland
      1984 Trondheim, Norway
      1985 Tesch, Switzerland
      1986 Lake Placid, USA
      1987 Asiago, Italy
      1988 Saalfelden, Austria
      1989 Vang, Norway