Canada's ski hopefuls fall short

By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency


Canadians Alex Harvey (left) and Devon Kershaw embrace following the men's team sprint cross-country skiing event at Whistler Olympic Park Monday February 22, 2010. (Al CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)

WHISTLER, B.C. - While a nation grows weary of little victories, Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw’s effort at Whistler Olympic Park Monday is worth a second glance.

Sure, fourth has become the Canadian bronze at these Games, but this was not a medal lost. Instead, it nearly was an out-of-the-skies surprise that has been all too rare for the home team.

“On the outside looking in, absolutely,” Kershaw said of the perception others may have had entering the men’s cross-country sprint relay. “We’re definitely skiing better than a lot of people thought.

“But for ourselves, expectations are super-high all the time. We believed we could do it. It’s just great to give the hometown crowd a good show.”

Kershaw, from Sudbury, and his partner from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que. were second at the final exchange and briefly held the lead moments before that.

The freestyle event has each member taking turns going three laps each around the 1.4-kilometre course. Facing the push from experienced veterans in the final lap, Harvey couldn’t match the last burst of speed. Norway won gold in a time 19:01.0 followed by Germany and Russia.

“We knew today we had a good shot at a medal,” said Harvey, the promising son of former Olympian Pierre Harvey. “I know I have endurance but I didn’t have enough speed to match those guys.”

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

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