KINGSBURG - A Lunenburg County snowboarder has been named to Canada‚Äôs Olympic team, bringing the total number of Nova Scotians on the contingent to two.
© The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot
Alex Duckworth of Kingsburg, N.S., right, is congratulated by Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut, as they unveil the Canadian Olympic snowboard team, Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at the Ice Hotel in Quebec City.
Alex Duckworth, 26, of Kingsburg, was virtually guaranteed a berth to Sochi after becoming the top-ranked Canadian female in the half-pipe at a weekend Snowboard World Cup event in Quebec.
However, she said it was still a relief to hear the official announcement Tuesday afternoon.
‚ÄúIt becomes a bit more of a reality after today, which is nice,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been biting our lips over the weekend just waiting for everything to solidify, and now‚Äôs when we really get to enjoy the process.‚ÄĚ
With the opening ceremony just over two weeks away, Duckworth doesn‚Äôt have much time to enjoy the moment. She said she‚Äôs headed back to her training base in Whistler for the next few days before leaving with the Canadian team for 10 days of practice in Switzerland.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs where we‚Äôll do a bit more training in a half-pipe and get a bit more acclimatized to the right time zone,‚ÄĚ said Duckworth.
It‚Äôs Duckworth‚Äôs first Olympics, but not her first trip to Sochi ‚Äď she said she‚Äôs looking forward to seeing the official venues after a test event last year.
‚ÄúIt was still all very in the works, everything under construction, so it‚Äôll be interesting to see how they pulled everything together,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe haven‚Äôt heard much about it recently, but I‚Äôm sure it‚Äôll be done on time.‚ÄĚ
The snowboard team announcement comes two days after the naming of the men‚Äôs hockey team, which includes Cole Harbour‚Äôs Sidney Crosby as captain.
Duckworth said she‚Äôs not going into the Olympics with big expectations, but she‚Äôs hoping to make Bluenosers proud.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs been such great support for me, coming from there,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúSo that‚Äôs the most exciting thing, to have it all pay off and get someone to join Sidney Crosby on the Nova Scotia representation. That‚Äôs a big part of this for me.‚ÄĚ
Nineteen athletes were named to the snowboard team Tuesday, including defending Olympic gold medallist Jasey-Jay Anderson and 2010 Olympians Dominique Maltais and Caroline Calve.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt have huge expectations,‚ÄĚ Duckworth concluded. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm just trying to focus on the snowboarding and trying to ride my best and if that can get me into the final, then I‚Äôll be super happy.‚ÄĚ