• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
  • Lillehammar, Norway, 1994

    Olympic Team Paralympic Team
    Men Women Men
    Danny Bouchard Colette Bourgonje Kris Dittman
      Lorraine Kelly Joe Harrison
      Tricia Lovegrove  

    For 1994 only one Canadian, Dany Bouchard made the stiff COA selection standard for an exciting Games in the "homeland of the sport". Crowds of 100,000 lined the trails to cheer on the competitors in what has to be the most high profile Games ever for cross country skiing. For the Canadian program the focus was also on who was left at home as disappointment was wide spread over Donald Farley’s non selection (missing the standard by a few seconds, for the second Olympics in a row) and the lack of a female representative.

    It was a valiant effort by La Tuque’s Bouchard, who was hampered by a cold, but he was unable to top his 1992 top placing of 25th, finishing with a best performance of 49th in the 10k classic which was won by Norway’s superstar Bjorn Daehlie. Daehlie also easily captured the overall pursuit title with a margin of 29.2 seconds. A race in which Dany finished 52nd out of 88 competitors. The mens competition also saw some other surprises for Norway as second year senior Thomas Alsgaard destroyed the field in the 30km skating event winning the gold by 45 seconds over Daehlie, and a sprint to the finish by Italian Silvio Fauner, upset the strongly favoured Home Team in the relay, an event Norway had captured Gold in at the Olympic and World Championship level since, 1990. The Italian lead-off skier was 44 year young, Maurilio De Zolt, who added another medal to a long and illustrious career that typically saw stronger results in the longer distance events. Bouchard finished 51st in the 30km event and rounded out his Olympic career with a 51st in the 50km that was won by Kazakhstan’s Vladimir Smirnov.

    On the Womens side it was the Egorova, Di Centa show, as Italy’s Manuela Di Centa captured Gold in the 15, and 30 k events, a silver in the 5km and in the pursuit. She had to settle for only a bronze medal in the relay. Russian Lubov Egorova started slower with a Silver in the 15km, Gold in the 5km, Pursuit and relay, and a 5th in the 30. Finland’s Marja Lisa Kirvesniemi, picked up a bronze in the 5km and 30km, in her 6th final Olympics, a career that was highlighted by 3 gold and a relay bronze in 1984.

    1992 Canadian Olympian Alain Masson returned to the Olympics but this time in a new role as team wax technician, a position his 1992 teammate Yves Bilodeau will fill in 1998.