Cross-country skiing: the void left by Harvey will be felt so far

Cross-country skiing Canada’s Alex Harvey has played his last Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. He will officially retire in 2019 after the World Cup finals in Quebec City. All the people gathered in Sherbrooke for the 4th round of the Quebec Cup agreed that he will leave a huge void in his sport.

The world of cross-country skiing is also very proud of Harvey’s performance at the Olympics, even though he did not manage to win the much-vaunted medal in the end.

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4th place “cruel” says Alex Harvey coach

“I thought Alex had some great games,” said Alexis Martin, senior sprint champion of 1.4 km this weekend in Sherbrooke. It is true that it would have been fun to see him win a medal, but he can not control the performance of other skiers. Alex’s legacy is visible and he allows other skiers to climb. ”

” His absence will leave a vacuum, for sure, he said. Other athletes will have to stand up to take the place. He has a lot of very good skiers, but Alex Harvey is a very big shoe to replace. ”

“We often hear people say that it is valuable that he does not have an Olympic medal,” said Jean Pinard, vice-president of the Mont Orford Cross-Country Ski Club. People need to understand that cross-country skiing is a religion for Norwegians and athletes in the North. To finish 4th, on a 50 km, very close to the first place, it represents an extraordinary effort. I hope it will set an example and give young people a taste of pursuing a career in cross-country skiing. Again at the end of the week, the representatives of Cross Country Canada told us how the circuit of Quebec is an invaluable resource for them. »

The benefit of the doubt to the Russians

In his last race at PyeongChang, Alex Harvey was 4th in the 50km mass start class. Alexander Bolshunov and Andrey Larkov, two Russians, respectively finished in 2nd and 3rd place, nothing to please the fans with all the doping scandals concerning athletes from Russia.

“Russia is still a great ski nation,” said Alexis Martin. It can come out of good skiers who are not doped, but it is certain that we can not remove suspicions. The Russians, however, have a hard time these days, no one spoke of doping when the Norwegians won the three medals at the skiathlon. ”

“We must always assume that people are clean and compete honestly,” said Claude-Alexandre Carpentier, general manager of Cross Country Quebec passing through Sherbrooke. One can, however, afford to have some doubt with all the scandals surrounding Russian athletes. If it turns out that the Russians cheated, it will be a stolen moment for him because to receive a medal eight months later is not the same thing. But listen, he delivered a masterful race. We can not be more proud of him. It is certain that the medal would have been good, but that’s the Olympics. ”

“He is an athlete and an exceptional person,” says Carpentier. Alex will still continue to promote cross-country skiing, he will be the spokesperson of S?PAC to promote the outdoors. We have not finished hearing from Alex Harvey and we are delighted. ”

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