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B.C. Olympian Rémi Drolet looks to learn from 17th-place finish in 20-km mass start

The Rossland resident is hungry for more at the Nordic World Juniors in Whistler
Beijing Olympian Remi Drolet racing the U23 men’s 20-kilometre mass start at the 2023 Nordic Ski World Juniors in Whistler.

He wanted more, but Rémi Drolet is still off to a solid start this week in Whistler. The Rossland, B.C. resident put in work to cross the line in 17th at the U23 men’s 20-kilometre mass start. 

“I think it’s a good start for the championships,” he said after his Jan. 31 race. “I was definitely hoping for a little bit more and I think I made a couple mistakes in the first laps that cost me a lot of energy.” 

Although he is still eligible for World Juniors events, Drolet has already cut his teeth on the biggest stage of them all. He placed 33rd, 35th and 57th in three individual events at the 2022 Winter Olympics, when he also helped the Canadian 4x10-kilometre relay team earn an 11th-place result. 

Prior to Whistler, Drolet has competed at three World Juniors, one U23 World Championship and the 2021 senior World Ski Championships. He also races in the Ivy League as a member of Harvard University's ski team. The 22-year-old possesses plenty of experience and was able to use it to dissect his performance on a day where he stayed with the top 15 until the last five kilometres of his race.

“It was just difficult to get by people,” Drolet said. “There’s a lot of traffic out there and it’s kind of bumper to bumper, so it’s really hard to pass. You had to be a little bit lucky to be in the right position, and I wasn’t quite able to do that. But I think it was a good learning experience and overall a decent race.”

After seeing the paucity of snow at numerous European venues this year, the Olympian was thrilled to don the Maple Leaf and test himself on the world-class snow conditions in Whistler.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Drolet said. “Out of all the World Juniors I’ve been to, I think this is the best organized and I’m really enjoying myself here. It’s beautiful. We’ve got great skiing and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”