Okanagan ski resort to host Canadian cross-country Olympic trials

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KELOWNA, B.C. - Sovereign Lake Nordic Club and Silver Star Mountain Resort have scored a major coup: phase one of the Canadian Olympic trials in cross-country skiing will be held there on Dec. 12.
Silver Star's Nordic manager Glenn Bond says its probably the biggest set of races this year in North America next to the Olympics.
All of the Olympic trials in cross-country were scheduled to be held at Whistler Olympic Park, but it is still a construction zone as workers complete a stadium, international TV setups and security measures.
Cross-Country Canada began searching for an alternate venue for 10- and 15-kilometre freestyle races and sprints for both the men's and women's teams.
The freestyle races will now be part of the Haywood NorAm, a perennial race in the North Okanagan, on Dec. 11-13.
Canmore, Alta., will handle sprints on the following weekend.
Tom Holland, Cross-Country Canada's director of high performance, said Wednesday six men and women on the national team have already met the nomination criteria.
Another seven or eight spots will be filled as a result of the North Okanagan and Canmore races. The final selection must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee by Jan. 1.
"Sovereign, of course, has been very reliable," Holland said in an interview. "It's a great site. We've gone every year at that time for eons so it's a known commodity. It's pretty well guaranteed good snow by that time."
Holland said he's expecting about 60 top Canadians with the exception of the six national team members already accepted, who will be racing in Europe.
Bond is predicting registrations will top 300 racers compared to the usual 150 for the Haywood NorAm.
The U.S. Olympic team will also attend since the Americans also have to submit team names by the same Jan. 1 deadline.
The Alaska team might normally send five or six skiers to the Haywood NorAm but is sending 27 this year.

Organizations: Silver Star Mountain Resort, Nordic, International Olympic Committee

Geographic location: Okanagan, Country Canada, KELOWNA North Okanagan Canmore Silver Star North America Whistler Olympic Park Europe U.S. Alaska

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