Local athletes making final preparations for Beijing

By Gordon Lambie
Local athletes making final preparations for Beijing
(Photo : Sam Giguère)

With the start of the Beijing Olympics just two weeks away, Canadians are starting to get a look at which athletes will be participating on the national teams in each sport, and the line-ups include a number of names with links to the Eastern Townships.

While seasoned competitors like Max Parrot, the snowboarder from Bromont, and Sherbrooke’s star speed skater, Kim Boutin, will be heading to China, Team Canada’s roster also includes a number of local athletes who will be appearing at the Olympics for the very first time.

At 20-years-old, Olivier Léveillé is the youngest member of Canada’s Cross Country Ski Team and one of the youngest athletes making the trip.

“I can’t wait,” the skier said, calling the experience a golden opportunity for someone in his position to learn from experienced competitors.

Léveillé grew up in Racine, near Valcourt, and attended the cross-country ski program at Magog’s La Ruche high school before moving on to the Cegep de Sherbrooke and summer training programs near Mont-Sainte-Anne. His first international races were at the world junior championships in 2020 and 2021, both of which brought him podium finishes.

Although the skier technically qualified for the Olympic team at the end of last year, he told The Record that he didn’t fully accept the reality that he would be going until the official announcement was made at the end of last week.
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