Members of the Black Jack Cross Country Ski Team won’t have to travel far in 2023, as Canada won the bid to host the 2023 Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships at Whistler Olympic Park.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) declared the next generation of Nordic stars will be skiing into Canada’s west coast for the first time since the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to bring this prestigious event for aspiring Olympians in the Nordic sports back to North America for just the fifth time ever in its 40-year history,” said Dave Pym, Managing Director & CEO, Canadian Snowsports Association, who led the Bid on behalf of Canada’s three Nordic national sport organizations.
“This 10-day event, that will bring together the world’s best athletes ages 16-23, in cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined is sure to restore the excitement and memories that brought Whistler Olympic Park to life during the 2010 Games.”
The Black Jack team sent three skiers to the 2020 World Championship in February at Oberwiesenthal, Germany, including Rossland siblings Remi and Jasmine Drolet and Molly Miller, the most of any club in Canada.
Remi Drolet, along with World Jr. Ski Team teammates Xavier McKeever (Alberta), Tom Stephen (Alberta) and Olivier Léveillé (Quebec) shocked the world when they won the nation’s first-ever silver medal in the relay event at the 2020 World Juniors, and are expected to be in their prime in 2023.
Drolet also just missed becoming the third Canadian ever to win an individual medal at the event, placing fourth in the 30-km skate-ski race.
More than 700 athletes representing 50 countries are expected to compete for the World Junior podium on Whistler’s ski trails and jumping towers. A developing group of Canadian cross-country skiers, including
“This group of athletes represent the future of our sport and share a common goal of winning medals at the 2026 Olympics and beyond,” said Stéphane Barrette, Chief Executive Officer, Nordiq Canada, who added The Resort Municipality of Whistler are world-leaders in event hosting.
“Providing our young athletes with home snow advantage at a major international event will provide a critical test along their journey to represent Canada at future Olympics. Just as importantly, our hope is that bringing these talented athletes to the west coast will also help foster Olympic dreams in Canada’s youth, inspiring them to try our sports and get on skis.”
This will be the third time Canada hosts the Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships. The Canmore Nordic Centre welcomed the next generation of Olympians, in 1997. The World Juniors for ski jumping and Nordic combined were also held in Mont-Sainte Anne, Que. in 1979.