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    • Team Canada Looking Deeper than Ever as 2018 Winter Games Near

      February 9, 2017


      CALGARY - Given the speed, given the frozen playing surfaces, injuries are not just a possibility in elite winter sport. Calamity, unfortunately, is a given for those brave souls who train and compete daily on skates, snowboards, skis and sleds with the goal of representing Canada at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

      But with Thursday marking a year to the opening ceremonies, the Canadian Olympic team is deeper than in recent times. And that depth should help buffer the Canadian contingent if and when big names go down with injury prior to PyeongChang.

      Prior to the Vancouver Games, aerialist Deidra Dionne retired after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, downhill skier Kelly VanderBeek suffered a catastrophic knee injury, and cross-country skier Chandra Crawford was beset with ankle and lower-leg injuries requiring surgery. On the men's side, 2009 world downhill champion John Kucera was sidelined by a broken leg, while ski cross hopefuls Dave Duncan and Brady Leman were unable to compete after suffering injuries during training.

      “Our pool is bigger and stronger,” Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer of Own the Podium, told Postmedia earlier this week. “Just look at slopestyle and big air in snowboard where at every World Cup, there’s a reshuffling of what Canadian athletes are in the top five or six. And it’s the same in some of the top sports, even long track and short track. We’re definitely deeper than we were.”

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