Torino, Italy, 2006

Olympic Team Paralympic Team
Women Men Women
Amanda Ammar Drew Goldsack Colette Bourgonje Brian McKeever
Chandra Crawford George Grey Shauna Maria Whyte Robin McKeever - Guide
Sara Renner Chris Jeffries   Jean-Thomas Boily
Beckie Scott Devon Kershaw   Jimmy Pelletier
Milaine Theriault Dan Roycroft    
  Sean Crooks    
  Philip Widmer    

2006 Canadian Olympic Team

Canada headed into the 2006 Olympics and Paralympics in Torino with a full team and high hopes. 

On the Olympic side, Beckie Scott and Sara Renner headline a talented team of nominated Canadian athletes.  Beckie, a defending Olympic champion in the pursuit, has show that she will be hot to trot when the Olympics roll around by absolutely dominating the December World Cup events in Vernon and Canmore, Canada.  Beckie finished no worse than 2nd in these events.  Sara Renner, 2005 World Ski Championships bronze medallist (sprint), is also looking to have best-ever results at the Olympic games.  Her sprint form remains top-notch and her distance fitness makes her ready to challenge everybody in all of the events.  Milaine Theriault, attending her third Olympic Games, rounds out the veteran side of the women's team in top shape for 2006.  Chandra Crawford and Amanda Ammar fill the final two spots on the women's side - both young talents attending their first Olympic Games.  Chandra has already had 2 top-30 finishes this year in World Cup action, so watch for her to shine.

Although young and all Olympic rookies, the Canadian men's team has a lot of of potential, particularly in the sprinting events.  Last year Devon Kershaw and George Grey shocked the world, finishing 6th in the team sprint event at the World Ski Championships.  Philip Widmer blasted to 4th place in the sprint qualifier in his first ever World Cup, in December 2005 in Vernon, BC.  There's a lot of potential in these gentlemen, all of whom will be considering Torino as a stepping stone to the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Olympic Results:
For the second Olympics in a row  there were medals for Canadian cross-country skiers, as Chandra Crawford "came from nowhere", capturing gold in the women's sprint. It was the sprint track, again where medal #2 came from, as Sara Renner and Beckie Scott won silver in the Team Sprint event.

The Olympics started with Beckie Scott 6th behind Kristina Smigun of Estonia in the woman's pursuit, with Sara Renner finishing 16th. In the men's pursuit Ivan Babikov finished 13th, but he was skiing for Russia as his Canadian citizenship papers hadn't yet been completed. The top Canadian was George Grey in 25th and Russia's Demetiev was the victor.

The team sprints were the next events and Sara Renner and Beckie Scott teamed up for a silver medal in the classic event. Canada may have been in a position to capture gold but Sara Renner broke a pole near the end of the race, and Sweden were victorious. As per ski etiquette a Norwegian coach handed Sara a new pole, shortly after hers broke, so minimal time was lost. In the men's team sprint George Grey and Devon Kershaw finished 11th, just missing qualifying for the final that was won by Sweden.

The 10 and 15k classic events were won by Estonian's Kristina Smigun and Andres Veerpalu, with the top Canadians Sara Renner in 8th and George Grey in 31st. Canada had respectable relay results with theMilaine Theriault, Sara Renner, Amanda Ammar and Beckie Scott finishing 10th behind the Russians and the men's team of Devon Kershaw, Sean Crooks, Chris Jeffries and George Grey finishing 11th behind Italy.

The Canadian women had an excellent individual free technique sprint day, as Beckie Scott qualified 1st, Chandra Crawford 8th and Sara Renner 9th. In the final Chandra dominated the race to capture Olympic gold, with Beckie narrowly missing bronze in 4th. Sara managed another 16th place result. On the men's side Drew Goldsack finished 31st, .2 seconds off qualifying for the knockout rounds. The men's sprint was won by Sweden's Bjoern Lind.

The final events were the 30 and 50k mass starts. The 30k was won by Katerina Neumanova from the Czech republic with a tired woman's team unable to start a competitor. In the men's 50k, Russian/Canadian, Ivan Babikov finished 38th as a member of teh Russian team and George Grey was 44th.

Paralympic Team
The 2006 Canadian Paralympic Team will be led by Brian McKeever and guide Robin McKeever, who together were multiple gold medalists in the visually impaired class at the 2002 Paralympics in Salt Lake City.  Shauna Maria Whyte and Collette Bourgonje, both of whom have multiple Paralympic experiences and who have many international medals on their trophy shelves, will be strong contenders in the women’s sit ski class. Jean-Thomas Boily, 5th in the overall World Cup results in 2004, is ready to break out in the men’s sit ski class as well. Joining him will be rookie sit skier Jimmy Pelletier, who, in only his second season of international competition, has shown that he has great potential. Brian and Shauna will compete in both biathlon and cross country events, while the rest of the team will compete in the cross country events only.

Paralympic Results
There were medals in Paralympic cross-country as Brian McKeever captured 2 gold and a silver in the Visually Impaired events, led by his guide Robin McKeever a Nagano Olympian. Brian also captured bronze in the Biathlon. Colette Bourgonje captured bronze in the 10 and 5k sitski events and finished 6th in the 2.5, just in front of Shauna- Maria Whyte who finished 7th and had earlier finished 4th in biathlon. Jean-Thomas Boily was the top Canadian in men's sitski, finishing with a best result of 24th in the 10k.

Congratulations to the Canadian Disabled Ski Team for a very successful 2006 Paralympics!

Team Canada finished with 13 medals yesterday with the closing of the Winter Paralympics to position Canada as #6 on the medal count list.  Nordic Skiing took home almost half of Canada's medals with Brian and Robin McKeever winning 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze in various visually impaired biathlon and cross-country events and Colette Bourgonje took home 2 bronze medals in sit-ski cross-country events.  Great efforts were put in by the rest of the team and we now look forward to their performance's in the coming years in preparation for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Olympic Team - Support Team:

Dave Wood

Head Coach

Thomas Holland

Team Leader

Mike Cavaliere


Yves Bilodeau

Head Technician

Graham Maclean


Laurent Roux


Joel Knopff


Alain Masson


Pål Fredrik Andersen


Rob Grey


David Cox

Sport Psychologist

Stephen Watterreus

Massage Therapist

Josee Zimanyi


Annick Blouin


Paralympic Team - Support Team:

Kaspar Wirz

Head Coach

Bjorn Taylor

Team Leader

Daniel Poirier


Ian Daffern

Head Technician

Maggie Kayes


Elizabeth Wirz Cook/Assistant

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