Browne, Beatty lead Canada's Olympic cross-country team

Canada's Dahria Beatty skis during World Cup cross country skiing women's sprints in Canmore, Alta., Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

CANMORE, Alta. -- Olympic veterans Cendrine Browne and Dahria Beatty will lead Canada's cross-country skiing team at the Beijing Games.

Nordiq Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Thursday the seven-athlete team that will compete at the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics.

Joining Whitehorse native Beatty and Browne of Saint-Jérôme, Que., are Antoine Cyr of Gatineau, Que, Laura Leclair of Chelsea, Que., Olivier Léveillé of Sherbrooke, Que., Graham Ritchie of Parry Sound, Ont., and Katherine Stewart-Jones of Chelsea.

Erik Braten of Oslo, Norway, will coach the team in Beijing.

Browne and Beatty will both make their second straight Olympic appearance. Both skiers competed in five events at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games and helped Canada to a 13th-place finish in the women's 4x5-kilometre relay. Beatty also teamed with Emily Nishikawa to give Canada a 13th-place finish in the women's team sprint.

Stewart-Jones is a veteran of the World Cup circuit, while Leclair won the freestyle sprint race at the Canadian Olympic trials last week in Canmore.

Cyr, Ritchie and Léveillé earned their Olympic spots based on strong results on the World Cup circuit over the last two years. Cyr and Ritchie teamed up to finish seventh in the team sprint at the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

“This is a talented group of athletes who are coming into these Games replete with veteran leadership and first time Olympic team members who are confident and driven to deliver results on the ultimate sporting stage,” Stéphane Barrette, chief executive officer of Nordiq Canada, said in a statement.

“This group has represented Canada at all levels of the sport internationally and are now anxious to demonstrate their potential at the Olympic Games, which will serve as the ultimate benchmark in their continued development."

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