2 mars 2011

Celebrating an historic Canadian gold

They did it ! World champions ! Let's get the party started !

by Beckie Scott

Cross-country skiers Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw won Canada's first gold medal in the history of the Nordic skiing world championships on Wednesday when they took the men's classic-style sprint relay in Oslo, Norway.

What a day, what a race, what an incredible and sensational moment for the team and the sport !

Favoured going into the race, Harvey and Kershaw could not have been more ready or hungry. After the men's pursuit event that saw them both fall short of their expectations, they became more determined than ever to ensure they didn't leave these world championships without any hardware.

Both men are in top physical shape, but even with solid podium potential in Tuesday's 15km classic event, Devon opted to sit out and save his legs for Wednesday's sprint relay - a decision that paid off.

The dreaded "Oslo Fog" has been unrelenting here, and Wednesday's race was no exception. The thick soupy mist sits in the stadium, making visibility nearly nil for spectators while challenging the racers. But somehow the Norwegian spirit for sport prevails, and the crowds continue to come, filling the stands and roaring the racers home.

And roar they did. From start to finish it was a fast, furious fight for the finish line, accompanied by a deafening soundtrack of cow bells and cheering from the crowds.

As the race progressed and it became clear our team from Canada was going to be fighting for the gold, the excitement level rose incrementally and we cheered harder than ever, willing them to win.

When Alex stretched his ski across the finish line, and the photo finish determined it was gold for Canada, the Canadian contingent began to celebrate like crazy. We're a small group here, but the extreme excitement over today's result has been phenomenal.

In just a few minutes we'll gather together in our hotel lobby, rally down to the city centre for tonight's medal ceremony, and finally get to share in the sweet celebration of a Canadian gold medal !

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