Three Black Jack skiers will again represent Canada at the 2021 FIS Nordic Junior/U23 Cross-Country World Ski Championship in Finland - hopefully.
Remi and Jasmine Drolet of Rossland, and Kimberley native Molly Miller were selected to race at the championshps for the third straight year, however, according to Black Jack cross country ski coach David Wood, uncertainty is the only sure thing.
“At this point, Remi, Jasmine and Molly are selected for the World Junior championships team,” said Wood. “We don’t know a lot of details on that but that event is in Finland in February.
“And Remi he’ll be selected to the World Cup series starting on Jan. 13. There will be three weekends of World Cup, and depending how he’s going he may go to Oberstdorf [Germany] for the Senior World championship, but there’s lots of uncertainty.”
Due to COVID, Black Jack veterans and Canadian Ski Team members Remi and Molly did not return to their respective NCAA universities Harvard and Northern Michigan, but are taking their courses online and training with the team at Black Jack.
The cross-country ski team continues to train hard, despite the cancellation of its Teck Kootenay Cup event scheduled at Black Jack this past weekend.
“There is no interruption there [with training]. We hope later on in the winter we’ll get regional races back on.”
Drolet is scheduled to race for Canada at the FIS World Cup in Ulricehamn, Swe. Jan. 16-17, Lahti, Fin. Jan 23-24 and Falun, Swe. Jan. 30-31.
The Junior/U23 World Cross-Country Ski Championships goes in Vuokatti, Fin. Feb. 6-13, and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships go in Germany Feb. 24-Mar. 7.
“We’ll see how it goes, we are trying to have time trials at the club this weekend, and get Remi, Jasmine, and Molly in racing shape without them racing. Potentially, their first competition could be the world championships, which is pretty poor preparation.”
Remi captured fourth place in the 30-km at the 2020 World Junior/U23 ski championships, just missing the podium. This will be Remi’s fourth trip to the event, where only two Canadians, Alex Harvey and Marie Josee-Pepin, have medalled.
In a Nov. 30 release Nordiq Canada said, “In an effort to continue to provide international race opportunities for top Canadian athletes, and for the country to continue to improve on the FIS Nations Ranking List that is critical for future World Cup and Olympic quota spots, Nordiq Canada remains hopeful of sending competitive teams to World Cup and World Junior/U23/Senior Championship events this winter.”
Despite the selection, travel plans for the Black Jack skiers are still pending, as protocols regarding the pandemic remain uncertain and at the same time a priority.
“They just put out the selection process two days ago, and they’ve been contacting all these people, but I haven’t seen a plan yet,” said Wood. “They have things they have to do regarding health and travel to other countries, there’s protocols but that’s all still to come.”
Nordiq Canada also announced cancellations of regional and international races such as Rosslands Nor-Am Teck event, as well as the nordic world championships originally scheduled for Jan. 7-10 in Whistler, and the Canadian Ski Championships scheduled for March 14-20 in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.
Fittingly, the Black Jack Ski Team and the Club attracted more members than usual this season.
“We have about 20 on the racing team and at least that many on the Track Attack,” added Wood. “It’s a little bit more than normal.”