Canadian skiers legit medal threat

By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

WHISTLER, B.C. — It may be two more Olympics before Alex Harvey reaches his top stride, but today the young cross-country skiing phenom may get a taste of what awaits.

With partners Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov and George Grey, the Canadian men have went from a team with potential at the start of the Games to a legit medal threat in the 4x10 kilometre relay Wednesday.

“We could pull a rabbit out of our hate,” said Harvey, the son of former Canadian Olympian Pierre Harvey. “If we could all ski like we did in the (men’s 30km pursuit) on Saturday, we have a good chance.”

The presence of Harvey and Babikov has sparked optimism on the team, and confidence continues to rise. Babikov has hit the top eight in two events already, and Harvey and Kershaw have proven they can be competitive with the best in the world.

“Alex Harvey is the most talented skier I’ve every trained with or raced with,” Kershaw said. “And he’s only going to get better.”

Three-time Olympian and silver medallist in 2006, Sara Renner, says it’s young skiers like Harvey who have created a bright future for the Canadian cross-country program.

“We’ve changed from a team that participates in the Games to a team that has expectations,” Renner said. “We’re a team that dreams of medals. At my first Olympics we dreamed of finishing races.”

Four Canadian men are aiming much higher Wednesday morning at Whistler Olympic Park.

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca

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