• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Men's ski team takes shape on Frozen Thunder

      November 4, 2016

      Jesse Cockney after his first place finish in the Frozen Thunder sprint race at the Canmore Nordic Centre on
      Tuesday (Nov. 1). The win guaranteed Cockney for a World Cup competition spot in Europe
      Aryn Toombs RMO Photo

      Jesse Cockney woke up with a cold on the worst possible day of the year.

      A win in Tuesday’s (Nov. 1) Frozen Thunder classic sprint race would earn him a spot on the world cup circuit, where he would get a chance to build upon his career-best 10th-place finish last season and potentially qualify for the 2017 Winter Olympics.

      A troubling earache, headache and stuffed sinus, though, threatened to throw a wrench into that plan for a skier who battled illness for much of last season.

      “I was a little nervous. Yesterday afternoon I felt like I was coming down with something in my ears and in my nose. I had a good headache. I was healthy until the day before the race. I don’t think it had time to get into my chest or my legs,” Cockney said.

      But instead of wallowing, the speedy Inuit sprinter sucked up his courage and bested the field by four seconds, winning the qualifier and punching his ticket to Europe with a time of 3:51.66. Team Canada members Len Valjas finished second (3:58:64) and Graeme Killick was third (3:59:13).

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