Canadians finish middle of pack in weather-shortened cross-country mass start
Léveillé, of Sherbrooke, Que., finishes 27th; teammate Drolet, of Rossland, B.C., 35th
The men's mass start wasn't supposed to be 30-kilometres, but after International Ski Federation race organizers weighed their options, they shortened the 50km race due to "strong winds and the resulting extreme conditions on the course."
The temperature hovered around minus 18 degrees Celsius at the venue in Zhangjiakou.
After an immense adjustment, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)'s Alexander Bolshunov drew on his shorter distance prowess and captured his third gold medal of Beijing 2022, stepping onto the podium for the fifth time at the Games.
Olivier Léveillé, of Sherbrooke, Que., finished as the highest Canadian in 27th place, 4:21.6 back of Bolshunov, while Remi Drolet of Rossland, B.C., finished 35th to end his first Olympic Games.
A ROC teammate of Bolshunov, Ivan Yakimushkin, skied to the silver medal to complete the Russian brace atop the podium, crossing the finish line 5.5 seconds behind his countrymate.
While the athletes expected a longer race, the ability to adjust threw another wrinkle into an Olympic Games like no other as Beijing 2022 approaches its conclusion.
With all of the men's cross-country skiing in the books, Bolshunov and the rest of the athletes turn their attention to the resumption of international racing — but first, the closing ceremony.
The Games wrap up with the ceremony on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. ET, streaming live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBC Sports' Beijing 2022 website.
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