• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Longest Pursuit Race Almost Over

      The longest pursuit race in cross-country skiing history is expected to end shortly, as Beckie Scott sets off for what she hopes will truly be the final leg of a race that should have seen her on top of the podium at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

      On 7 September, Beckie will depart her home in Bend, Oregon, for a marathon air journey (Richmond, Portland, Vancouver, London, Geneva) that will bring her to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.  The final colour of Beckie's Olympic medal will be determined in this Court on Tuesday, 9 September, when the arbitration hearings for appeals lodged by the Olympic Committees of Canada and Norway are finally heard.  The essence of the appeals is that athletes who test positive for banned drugs at any point in an Olympic Games should be stripped of any results that they might already have achieved in those Games.  A positive outcome from the arbitration would see the colour of Beckie's medal - which was once bronze but is now silver - turn to gold.  Such an outcome would cause Beckie's 6th place result in the 10 km classic race also to be upgraded.  Many other athletes, and several medal outcomes, would be affected as well.

      Other members of the Canadian delegation include COC President Michael Chambers and a strong legal team.  The Norwegian delegation is expected to include multiple gold medal winner Einar Ole Bjoerndalen, who stands to add a cross-country skiing bronze medal to his biathlon achievements if Johan Muehlegg is stripped of his gold from the men's 30 km free technique race.

      The legal proceedings are scheduled to last only one day.  The announcement of the decision could come quickly thereafter, if events conform to the timelines which held during the proceedings earlier this year which annulled Russian skier Larissa Lazutina's results.  

      On leaving Lausanne on 10 September after the hearings, Beckie will be proceeding via another lengthy air journey to join the rest of the Senior National Team in Park City, Utah, where the Team is gathered for its final dry-land training camp of the season.  It would be poetic justice if the Court's decision is released when Beckie is at the site of her Olympic triumph.  The longest race would be ending where it should have ended geographically.  But only when a gold medal is hanging from Beckie's neck will the race have ended where it should in athletic terms.

      Plans are in hand for a new medal ceremony for Beckie, that will be hosted by the Calgary Olympic Development Association at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on October 21st.