As part of the lead-up to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee will profile 20 Olympic hopefuls, in as many weeks, who have the potential to achieve success in Turin. The 14th Olympic hopeful to be profiled is cross-country skier Beckie Scott. Below you'll find detailed information on Scott including her Biography & 2006 Olympic Winter Games Outlook, Potential Olympic Teammates and Previous Olympic Winter Games Results. Also included is a 2006 Olympic Winter Games Preview for Women's Cross-Country Skiing.

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Beckie Scott
Sport: Cross-Country Skiing
Events: Individual events and relay
Birthdate: August 1, 1974
Birthplace: Vegreville, Alta.
Hometown: Vermilion, Alta.
Residence: Panorama, B.C.
Trains In: Panorama, B.C.
Height: 5'8"/171cm
Weight: 141 lbs./64 kg
Coaches: Dave Wood and Torbjorn Karlsen
Club: Vermilion Ski Club

2006 Olympic Qualification Standards: Canada is eligible to send a total of 20 qualified athletes, with a maximum of 12 males or 12 females, to compete in cross-country skiing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

As per the International Ski Federation's (FIS) qualification criteria, only athletes who have achieved at least one result better than 100 cross-country FIS points during the qualification period shall be allowed to participate.

The FISs qualification period includes the 2004-05 and 2005-06 competitive seasons. The qualification deadline is January 30, 2006.

The women's cross-country ski team is set to be finalized in early January.

I. Biography & 2006 Olympic Winter Games Outlook: [ TOP ]
- Additional Information -
Scott's Notable International Results
Scott's 2005-06 International Competition Schedule
All-Time Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Results
All-Time Canadian Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Medal Winners
All-Time Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Medal Winners by Country
Previous Canadian Olympic Hopeful Profiles
A 10-year veteran of the Canadian cross-country ski team, Beckie Scott will be looking to defend her Olympic gold medal performance from Salt Lake City at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.

The 2002 Olympic Winter Games was Scott's finest hour as an amateur athlete as she placed in the top-10 in each of her four Olympic events en route to becoming the first North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.

During her time on the international circuit, Scott has re-written the Canadian record books and firmly established herself as one of the world's best cross-country ski racers.

Recently, Scott enjoyed a phenomenal start to her 2005-06 World Cup campaign by winning a gold medal in the sprint event to go along with a silver medal in the team pursuit discipline at a competition in Vernon, B.C.

In 2004-05, Scott turned in another sensational international season, recording six top-10 podium finishes on a condensed World Cup schedule including a season-best result of fifth in the 10-kilometre discipline at an event in Finland.

On the World Championship stage, Scott narrowly missed her first podium finish in the event after finishing fourth in the double pursuit race to go along with a notable sixth-place finish in the team sprint discipline. Scott then concluded the event by recording three top-15 placings in the sprint, 10 kilometre and 30 kilometre races respectively.

Among her most notable achievements, Scott has consistently finished in the top 10 throughout the last five ski seasons while accumulating a total of seven career World Cup podium finishes in the sprint, individual and relay events.

A two-time Olympian (1998, 2002), Scott has become one of the most respected Canadian athletes competing on the international stage - not only by virtue of her athletic accomplishments - but also through her passionate and influential lobbying towards developing a strengthened anti-doping infrastructure.

A member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee, Scott previously helped to circulate an athletes' petition requesting the establishment of an independent drug-testing body for all World Cup and Olympic competitions.

Throughout her career, Scott has also been recognized for her charitable endeavours as she was named a UNICEF Canada special representative for challenging her fellow athletes at a Continental Cup event in 2001 to donate their prize money to an Afghanistan relief project.

In recognition of her numerous achievements both on and off the snow, Scott is a two-time (2002-03) recipient of the John Semmelink memorial award as the snow sport athlete who through sportsmanship, conduct and ability, best represent Canada in international competition.

Scott has also received the Spirit of Sport Story of the Year award at the Canadian Sport Awards in 2004, and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame this spring.

As a result of her on and off the course achievements, Scott was selected as Canada's candidate for the prestigious IOC Athletes' Commission. Elections for the IOC Athletes' Commission will be held during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. The top two athletes receiving the highest number of votes are subsequently elected for an eight-year term.

Apart from competing internationally, Scott is also working towards an English degree from the University of Waterloo by correspondence.

II. Potential Olympic Teammates: [ TOP ]
The following is a list of some of the potential Olympic participants from the 2005-06 women's Canadian cross-country ski team.

Sara Renner (Canmore, Alta.): Entering her ninth season on the Canadian cross-country ski team, Sara Renner is coming off a breakthrough 2005 international season in which she became the first Canadian to capture a medal at the World Championships with a third-place result in the sprint discipline.

Recently, Renner enjoyed a promising start to her 2005-06 campaign by finishing third in the sprint event during a World Cup competition in Vernon, B.C.

The holder of seven individual career top-10 finishes on the World Cup circuit, Renner's 2004-05 season was also highlighted by two top-six results in the team sprint discipline after helping Canada to a fourth-place finish at a World Cup event in Italy and a sixth-place result in the same discipline at the 2005 World Championship.

A two-time Olympian (2002, 1998), Renner recorded three top-15 results at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games after helping Canada to an eighth-place finish in the 4x5 kilometre relay and placing ninth and 13th in the individual sprint and 10-kilometre events.

Early in 2005-06, Renner has enjoyed a strong start to the season winning the pursuit and sprint event at the Haywood NorAm series in Vernon, British Columbia.

Renner is married to Canadian alpine skier Thomas Grandi. Equally successful in his career, Grandi is a serious medal contender in both the slalom and giant slalom events. In 2004-05, he became the first Canadian to win a technical event at a men's World Cup after winning back-to-back gold medals in the giant slalom discipline.

Milaine Theriault (St. Quentin, N.B.): A two-time Olympian (2002, 1998), Theriault is competing in her 12th season as a member of the Canadian cross-country ski team. During the past two seasons, she has been competing on a reduced schedule after having her first child, Xavier.

In 2004-05, Theriault's season was highlighted by a 22nd-place finish in the sprint discipline at the 2005 World Championship.

Away from competition, Theriault is currently finishing her Science degree from Athabasca University in hopes of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Her boyfriend, Robin McKeever, is a guide for his brother Brian, who is a Paralympic gold medallist in cross-country skiing, blind.

III. Previous Olympic Winter Games Results - Beckie Scott: [ TOP ]

Competition Event Location Result
2002 Olympic Winter Games 5km Pursuit Salt Lake City, USA 1st
  10km Classic   4th
  Sprint   5th
  4x5km Relay   8th
1998 Olympic Winter Games 4x5km Relay Nagano, Japan 16th
  Overall Pursuit   45th
  5km Classic   47th
  30km Skate   51st
  15km Classic   60th

IV. 2006 Olympic Winter Games Preview - Women's Cross-Country Skiing: [ TOP ]

1.5km Sprint0.9km Sprint
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Julija Tchepalova, Russia Gold: Emelie Oehrstig, Sweden
Silver: Evi Sachenbacher, Germany Silver: Lina Andersson, Sweden
Bronze: Anita Moen, Norway Bronze: Sara Renner, Canada
5km Pursuit 2x7.5km Pursuit
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Beckie Scott, Canada Gold: Julija Tchepalova, Russia
Silver: Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic Silver: Marit Bjoergen, Norway
Bronze: Viola Bauer, Germany Bronze: Kristin Steira Stoermer, Norway
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Bente Skari, Norway Gold: Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic
Silver: Julija Tchepalova, Russia Silver: Julija Tchepalova, Russia
Bronze: Stefania Belmondo, Italy Bronze: Marit Bjoergen, Norway
15km Mass Start
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Stefania Belmondo, Italy Event not contested.
Silver: Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic
Bronze: Julija Tchepalova, Russia
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Gabriella Paruzzi, Italy Gold: Marit Bjoergen, Norway
Silver: Stefania Belmondo, Italy Silver: Virpi Kuitunen, Finland
Bronze: Bente Skari, Norway Bronze: Natalia Baranova-Masolkina, Russia
4x5km Relay
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Gold: Germany Gold: Norway
Silver: Norway Silver: Russia
Bronze: Switzerland Bronze: Italy
Team Sprint
Previous Olympic Results (2002) Previous World Championship Results (2005)
Event not contested. New event added to the 2006 Olympic program Gold: Norway
Silver: Finland
Bronze: Russia

After enduring a 70-year drought in the discipline, Canada finally recorded its first ever Olympic medal in cross-country skiing after Beckie Scott's gold medal performance in the pursuit race in Salt Lake City.

Heading into Turin, Canada may not have to wait nearly as long to record its second Olympic podium finish in the sport as the women's national team features two legitimate medal contenders in Scott and Sara Renner.

Together, the two Canadian veterans have combined to rewrite the nation's cross-country skiing record books as Scott became the first North American to capture an Olympic medal in 2002 while Renner recently became the first Canadian to reach the podium at the World Championships after finishing third in the 2005 sprint race.

Scott and Renner's main competition in Turin will come from a strong European contingent that is led by Norway's Marit Bjoergen, the Czech Republic's Katerina Neumannova and Russia's Julija Tchepalova.

The overall 2004-05 World Cup champion, Bjoergen is coming off an impressive performance at the 2005 World Championship where she captured the gold in the 30-kilometre event, silver in the pursuit race and bronze in the 10-kilometre discipline.

On the World Cup stage, the 25-year-old skied to 13 podium finishes, including 10 victories. Her most successful events were the pursuit and 10 kilometre races as she captured gold in each discipline five times.

A double medallist at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Neumannova served notice that she intends to add to her Olympic medal collection in Turin after winning the 10-kilometre competition at the 2005 World Championship.

The second-ranked competitor on the 2004-05 World Cup tour, the 32-year-old Czech had eight podium finishes on the circuit, including two victories in the 10-kilometre discipline.

A gold medallist in the pursuit race and a silver medallist in the 10-kilometre event at the 2005 World Championship, Tchepalova, 28, had four podium finishes on the World Cup circuit including a victory in the 10-kilometre distance.

While Bjoergen, Neumannova and Tchepalova should challenge Scott in the pursuit race and figure prominently in the 10- and 30-kilometre events, only the Norwegian is expected to factor in the sprint discipline.

Regarded as a specialist in the sprint event, Renner will lead Canada up against a talented trio of Swedes headed by Emelie Oehstrig, Lina Andersson and Anna Dahlberg. Together they placed first, second and fourth respectively at the 2005 World Championship. Another competitor to watch is Finland's Virpi Kuitunen who was the second-ranked competitor in the sprint discipline behind Bjoergen on the 2004-05 World Cup circuit.

In the team events, the main competition in Turin is expected to come from a list of familiar countries that includes the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Russia.

Despite Europe's historical dominance in cross-country skiing, Canada has made great strides in the discipline over the years and Cross Country Canada's efforts could culminate this winter in Turin with a once unthinkable double-medal performance.

For more information on Beckie Scott or the Olympic sport of cross-country skiing please contact:

Eric Michalko
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee
Office: (416) 324-4146
Chris Dornan
Manager, Communications
Cross Country Canada
Office: (403) 247-5423