Whitehorse Daily Star

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BEIJING BIB – Dahria Beatty, left presents her Beijing 2022 bib to Sport Yukon, accepted by board members Marg White, middle and Alain Masson. Photo courtesy of ODESSA BEATTY

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PYEONGCHANG BIBS – Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty’s Pyeongchang 2018 bibs are presented to the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club accepted by club president Jean- Paul Molgat. Left to right: Emily Nishikawa, Jean-Paul Molgat, Dahria Beatty. Photo courtesy of ODESSA BEATTY

Dahria Beatty presents Olympic bibs at meet and greet

Dahria Beatty presents Olympic bibs at meet and greet

By Morris Prokop on May 11, 2022

Whitehorse native and Olympic cross-country skier Dahria Beatty presented Olympic bibs at a post-Olympic meet and greet at the Whitehorse Ski Club May 3.

Before the meet and greet, they did a women’s event for all the Yukon ski team Lynx and JDP club programs, the seven-year-olds to 18-year olds that are part of the different cross-country ski programs in Whitehorse. They did a dryland event with them from 4:30-6 p.m.

Beatty explained why they held the meet and greet.

“The reason for it was an opportunity to present the Whitehorse Ski Club, as well as Sport Yukon, with some Olympic race bibs. I presented Sport Yukon with one of my bibs from Beijing from just two months ago in recognition for everything they’ve done for me and sport in the Yukon over the years, so that will be framed and then displayed in their lobby ... for all Yukoners to see.

“It’s been four years in the making but Emily Nishikawa and myself raced the team sprint together at the Olympics in PyeongChang (2018 Winter Olympics) and this was probably the first time and maybe the only time that the team sprint event will be raced by two athletes from the same club. So that was a really special moment for us and also we had huge support and encouragement from the club and it was very exciting for them back in 2018, May. They played the race on the projector in the club. People got together to watch it and so we decided that we would present those bibs that we wore in that race ... to the club. Unfortunately over the past four years, it has been a logistical nightmare getting it organized, with both myself and Emily being here at the same time and the club being available, so finally on Tuesday, we were able to get all the people together that needed to be there,” related Beatty.

Club President Jean-Paul Molgat accepted the bibs on behalf of the club. 35-40 community club members attended the presentation.

“It was really fun to get the community together to be able to say thank you to the club in public and thank them for all the support and hard work and just cheering that they’ve given us as elite athletes throughout our careers,” said Beatty.

The bibs will be framed and displayed in the Whitehorse Ski Club as well.

Following the event, Beatty had a chance to reflect on a “very busy and exciting” season.

“I’ve had a bit of time here in April to take a bit of a break and reflect on the season. It was my second Olympics and objectively a much more successful Olympics than my first one. I’m quite happy with my performances. I was pleased to improve my performances in every event I competed in at these Games compared to last Games and I had some personal bests, including the 18th place in the 10 k classic. So it was a very exciting Olympic season.

“There was definitely a lot of stress going into the first part of the season, trying to qualify for the games with still so many pandemic restrictions and the COVID up-spike after Christmas there when the trials for the Olympics were happening, so it’s definitely been a very stressful season, as well as an exciting one, so needless to say, I was very happy to be able to take a break, both physically and mentally,” said Beatty.

“We had our first national championships in Canada in three years ... we went straight from the World Cup to Nationals in Whistler where I was able ... to win two more national championship titles, which was a nice way to end the season but seeing so many kids that haven’t really had the opportunity to race the last few years ... finally gained the chance to compete at a national championship, to be at the same event as Canada’s current national team and elite racers. There was so much excitement within the young generation of skiers in Canada and it was definitely great to see that and be part of that as well ... it was a nice way to end the season,” added Beatty.

Beatty is off to a training camp in Canmore, Alta. and will be on snow in Kananaskis Country outside of Canmore. Six of those days will be focused on snow-skiing.

She’ll be joined by fellow Yukoners Derek Dueling, Sasha Masson and Sonjaa Schmidt.

They’ll be skiing at around 2000 metres at Fortress Mountain and won’t have to go as high as the glaciers this early in the season to get on freshly-groomed snow.

“The main goal for this camp is getting the new team together ... so that everyone can get to know the new additions to the team, work with the new coaching staff that Nordiq Canada now has and the priority for the camp technically will be just on snow hours, returning to training working on technique so that once we transition to roller skis and dryland after the camp is over, we have a good technical base and focus of what we want to work on going through the summer for training,” Beatty explained.

The’ll have at least two more training camps throughout the summer at which the whole national team comes together to train. The team is also looking into training on snow in New Zealand sometime in August.

“Race season will get underway in November, so we’ll build our way up to that, so that we’re ready and prepared for that and prepared to be over in Europe.”

Beatty said she has a very long list of process-based goals for the upcoming season. One big goal is the Tour de Ski, a World Cup nine-day, seven-stage event from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8. The event takes place in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

The past few years, Canada hasn’t sent any athletes to it because of the way the scheduling’s worked out but they are sending a team to it this coming year.

“The eighth stage you actually cross-country ski up a ski hill. It’s a very prestigious and renowned event in the cross-country ski world and it’s something that’s always been on my to-do list and with Canada sending a team this year, it’s definitely on the top of my goal list to try to be competing in that and be peaking for that, so trying to tailor my training to have my best result of the season there. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to hopefully doing it at some point, so that’s going to be a big focus for me this coming year.”

“After competing in the World Cup for the better part of five, six years, it’s something I don’t want to leave the sport without having done, so I’m looking forward to being on the start line of that this coming year.”

The World Championships in Planica, Slovenia Feb. 21 to March 5 are also on her radar.

“I’ll definitely be looking to try to make the team sprint event there a big focus ... something that has still eluded me in my career is to be in the final of a team sprint – not in a mixed-gender but at a championship, so that’s definitely going to be a big focus as well.”

Beatty added that it was great that the Whitehorse Ski Club finished third at Nationals, something that she figures has only happened one or two times since she’s been competing at Nationals since 2009.

“It’s pretty cool to be a part of that with a team where I was the only senior athlete at Nationals this year for Whitehorse, so the other 14 athletes we had were all juniors and I think in the past years when we’ve done well, we’ve had – that was still when Emily (Nishikawa) and Knute (Johnsgaard) and Graham Nishikawa were still racing – so we had a lot of senior athletes at the event. But it was pretty cool to be able to do that with so many young athletes and it was definitely exciting for me to see so many strong performances, not just from one Whitehorse athlete, but across all the athletes that were at Nationals, so that was definitely inspiring seeing that – especially as I’m getting closer to the end of my career – to see that the next generation is alive and well.”

Comments (1)

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Maureen Kershaw on May 12, 2022 at 5:01 am

congratulations Dahria on your race successes, continuing your connections with the Yukon ski community and inspiration to the next generation of skiers. Good success with the tour de ski races and goals this coming year.

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