(Press release) Canadian Olivier Léveillé finishes second in top 30 in Olympic cross-country ski distance race – FasterSkier.com
Canadian Olivier Léveillé concluded his first Olympic Games with his second top 30 of the week, finishing 27th in the men’s 30 kilometer free technique.
The Sherbrooke, Que. persevered despite a broken ski and high winds that shortened the planned race from 5 kilometers to 30 kilometers at the National Cross-Country Center in Zhangjiakou, near Beijing. Léveillé finished the course with a time of 1:15:54.3.
“I am very proud of my first Olympic Games. It was bittersweet. I felt incredibly good today,” the 20-year-old said. “I was well placed in the peloton and was about to make a move to get into the top 30 on the first lap, but unfortunately someone stuck their pole on my ski, and it broke it. “
Léveillé struggled the next kilometer on one ski until he was met by a Team Canada ski technician to make the switch.
“I lost at least a minute on the peloton in that kilometer, so I was proud to come back,” said Léveillé. “It was a mental battle today against myself and the wind, but I managed to get my second top 30 of the Games.”
Léveillé was also the top Canadian in the 15-kilometre individual classic cross-country ski race earlier in the week when he placed 29th.
Two Russians, Alexander Bolshunov and Ivan Yakimushkin, finished one-two in the race. Bolshunov was the first to cross the line with a time of 1:11:32.7. Yakimushkin won the silver medal in 1:11:38.2. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger was third in 1:11:39.7.
Remi Drolet (Rossland, BC) was the only other Canadian in the 60-man field and finished 35th with a time of 1:16:27.1.
“It was difficult there. “It started well, but it didn’t go as well as I wanted today,” said Drolet. “It was just one of those days where I was really struggling and wasn’t able to find the next gear.”
The women’s 30 kilometer free technique race will take place on Sunday in Beijing.
Complete male results: https://bit.ly/359dNiS