Let’s breathe through the nose. Canadian women results in the World Cup are not at all disappointing since the start of the season.
Emily Nishikawa, Cendrine Browne and Dahria Beatty are more or less exactly where they should be in their progress curve.
People unfamiliar with endurance sports might have difficulty putting performances from up and coming young athletes into perspective. And they should be reminded of a thing or two.
In his first individual World Cup race, February 26th, 2004, Devon Kershaw placed 67th. Alex Harvey made his World Cup debut on February 9th, 2008, and he finished 46th! The two great friends became world champions in… 2011.
Did you know that Canadian icon Beckie Scott, in her first Olympic Games, finished almost last (60th of 64)? Four years later, she became Canada’s first ever Olympic gold medal winner in the sport.
(Listen to Beckie: http://t.co/699rEJAFmU)
A few years back I asked Steve Bauer what was the greatest asset of a top cyclist. «Patience! he replied. Young cyclists must understand that results don’t come easy.» It takes tens of thousands of km and efforts and sacrifices and a severe year round diet plan and all before «anything» happens. All of that takes time. And so it is for cross-country skiing.
Emily Nishikawa placed 46th last week-end in the Lillehammer Mini-Tour, Cendrine Browne, 52nd and Dahria Beatty, 59th. Those results were to be expected and nobody is disappointed, in particular for Cendrine, 23, and Dahria, 22, both on the U25 national team.
It might sound funny for those who only look at medal standings, but the three of them are progressing. Yes they are! For now, it’s crucial that they pile on mileage on the WC circuit. The more they race, the better they’ll get!
Starting this week-end in Davos, they will benefit from newcomer Sophie Carrier-Laforte’s contagious energy and the missing piece for the relays.
Plus let’s not forget Maya MacIsaac-Jones, Katherine Stewart-Jones and Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt, the other three U 25’s. Maya and Olivia are recovering from injuries, while Katherine is concentrating exclusively on the U23 Championships next month in Utah. A couple of others could eventually move up and of course, what about those young guns in the junior ranks!
Results will take some time yet, but patience will be rewarded.