• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
  • Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, Feb 7-19, 1984

    Olympic Team Paralympic Team - Innsbruck, Austria
    Women Men Women Men
    Shirley Firth Pierre Harvey Lorraine Barnes Philip Crowson
    Sharon Firth   Sandra Lecour Tim Kehoe
    Angela Schmidt-Foster   Francine Lemire  Jim Visser
        Cathy Riddell  Larry Rinke

    Three women and a lone man carried Canada’s hopes for cross country successes to Yugoslavia and among that foursome were the Firth twins, Shirley and Sharon of Inuvik, NWT, who joined a select group of international stars in the fourth consecutive Olympic appearance. However, top ten efforts were not to be for the 30-year-old twins who shortly afterwards retired - Shirley at the end of 1984 and Sharon at the end of 1985.

    Finland’s Marja-Liisa Hamalainen astounded everyone to win all three individual titles in convincing fashion and took a relay bronze. Shirley was tops on her team in the 5 km running 28th among 52 finishers. Shirley led her teammates with a new Canadian standard 22nd in the 10 km among 52 while in the Olympic 20 km debut Sharon set the Canadian placing to beat in 1988 with a 21st among 39. Norway won the 12-team relay. Canada was short a runner to field a team.

    26-year-old former cyclist turned skier, Pierre Harvey of Stoneham, P.Q. was the first male to ski the Olympics since 1976 and managed to set a new standard of 21st in the 30 km won by Soviet defending champion Nikolai Zimyatov. Among 84 skiers Harvey posted another 21st in the 15 km won by Sweden’s Gunde Svan and then placed 20th in the 50 km taken by Svan’s teammate Thomas Wassberg who also helped Sweden win the 17 team relay. Canada was not entered.

    Harvey went on to compete in the L.A. Summer Olympics in cycling, the second Canadian athlete to compete in both Summer and Winter Olympics the same year.