Yukon skier Dahria Beatty sets sights on 2018 Olympics

Yukon cross country skier Dahria Beatty has been kicking and gliding through what she calls her 'best season' this year. She finished first in two races at this week's Haywood Ski Nationals.

Beatty boasts two wins at Haywood Ski Nationals, capping her 'best season'

Dahria Beatty has been with the Alberta World Cup Academy since 2012, and has skied on Canada's national team for the last two years. (submitted by Bob Nishikawa)

It's been a good week for Yukon cross country skier Dahria Beatty — she's scored two impressive wins at the Haywood Ski Nationals, and she's been able to do it in front of an energetic and supportive hometown crowd in Whitehorse.

"Everywhere, there's people on the course, there's someone cheering for you, and you don't necessarily get that when you're racing in other provinces, other countries," Beatty said.

"That support really helps keep us speeding along."

Not that Beatty has needed much help. She's been speeding along through 10 World Cup races this year, and is now leading for the NorAm overall title. This week in Whitehorse she's won two important races — the senior women's 10 K freestyle, and a 1.2 kilometer sprint, putting her in a battle with fellow Yukoner Emily Nishikawa for the overall lead in the open women's category.

"I think it's been by far my best season," said the 22-year-old skier, after her sprint win on Thursday. "Definitely the 2018 Olympics are in the sights now."

Mobbed by fans

Beatty's performance at the Haywoods has inspired a lot of young fans — she was mobbed by autograph-seeking kids after her Wednesday win.

Beatty could compete one more time this week at the Haywood Ski Nationals, in Saturday's 30 kilometer classic race, but she's not sure she's up for it. She said she's been having trouble with her back since January, and wants to be careful.

"It's been such a great week so far, that I don't really want to risk an injury."

The 30 kilometer classic race is the final event of the week.

with files from Cheryl Kawaja


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