Saanich cross-country skier Amelia Wells has earned a coveted spot as one of seven athletes on Canada’s World Cup Period 1 Team that headed to Europe this week.
Wells, who is a member of the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, is the first Vancouver Island ski athlete ever to be nominated by Nordiq Canada for an International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross-Country World Cup competition.
It will be the first time Wells competes for Canada at the World Cup level. She represented Canada at the 2023 FIS Nordic U23 World Ski Championships in Whistler, B.C. earlier this year.
“It’s hard to believe that this is real. It has always been my dream to compete at the World Cup,” said the 21-year-old. “I am really excited for this amazing opportunity to represent my country on the world stage. I am looking forward to learning from the best.”
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is held annually and is considered the premier competition for cross-country ski racing after the Winter Olympics. The 2023–24 FIS Cross-Country World Cup will be the 43rd World Cup in cross-country skiing for men and women.
“It is a great opportunity for Amelia to race and learn from the highest level of cross-country skiing,” said Alberta World Cup Academy Development Coach, Jouni Pitkänen. “She has worked hard and she is ready to do well alongside the best athletes of the world.”
Wells started cross-country skiing when she was two years old, at Mount Washington Ski Resort, and learned to race with the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club. She graduated from Reynolds Secondary School and the Canadian Sports School (Victoria) in 2020. An elite athlete, she is studying full-time at the University of Calgary while training with the Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup Academy.
“There are not many cross-country ski athletes in Canada who are competing at the same high-performance level while balancing full-time university. I aspire to be a role model for other female athletes in Canada, showing them that it is possible to be a full-time student and high-performance athlete,” said Wells.
Nordiq Canada has selected two female and five male athletes who will compete in Europe in November-December, representing Canada in the World Cup series. Athletes must have the required FIS points to start in the 2023-24 World Cups.
The Ruka Nordic weekend kicks off the cross-country skiing FIS World Cup season 2023-2024 at the end of November with 30 nations and 400 athletes competing in 10 competitions in three Nordic Skiing disciplines (cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping) in Ruka, Finland from Nov. 24-26. The FIS World Cup Period 1 then continues in Gällivare (Sweden), Östersund (Sweden) and Trondheim (Norway) until mid-December.
Follow Canada’s Ski Team this season on Nordiq Canada’s website www.nordiqcanada.ca