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TORINO: XC: Beckie Scott and Sara Renner savor silver for Canada

TORINO: XC: Beckie Scott and Sara Renner savor silver for Canada{mosimage}PRAGELATO, Italy – This time, Beckie Scott won an Olympic medal with help from Sara Renner instead of a doping scandal.

Scott and Renner won silver in the inaugural women’s cross-country team sprint event Tuesday, giving Canada its third medal of the Torino Olympics.

It was a satisfying result for Scott, who was awarded the gold medal in the women’s pursuit four years ago in Salt Lake City after two Russian skiers who finished ahead of her were disqualified for doping.

“This feels great,” said the 32-year-old Scott, who is competing in her last Olympics. “We knew heading in the expectations were high, but we just tried to stay calm.”

Scott, who missed out on a medal in the women’s 15-kilometer pursuit on Sunday with a sixth-place finish, said after Tuesday’s race that she will likely retire at the end of the World Cup season.

She said the silver medal was the result of hard work over the last four years and rejected the suggestion this finally proves she is a legitimate medal winner.

“I’ve had a lot of success in the World Cup since Salt Lake City,” said Scott. “I’ve been ranked as a high as third and today’s medal is a reflection of that.”

Renner broke a pole in the third lap of the race as Canada fell from first to fourth and it was Scott who got the pair back in the race.

“When I saw that happen to Sara, I was hugely disappointed, I thought ‘this is it,'” said Scott. “My tactic was to go for the gold, I was skiing to win today.”

Scott and Renner have given cross-country skiing a huge boost in Canada.

The two combined to win a silver medal in a World Cup classical team sprint relay in December in Canmore, Alberta – their first top-three finish in the event.

A week earlier, Scott won a sprint event in Vernon, British Columbia, one of three World Cup titles this season.

Their sensational two-week stretch on home snow showed the world how far Canada has come in cross-country – a sport traditionally dominated by northern Europeans. The women hoped the back-to-back weekends at home would give them momentum heading into the Torino Games.

After Sunday’s pursuit race, an emotional Scott embraced husband Justin Wadsworth, a three-time U.S. Olympian. The couple live and train in Bend, Oregon.

“Today we were able to regroup and come back,” said Scott. “Every day of a race is another chance and we’ve come a long way together.”

– The Associated Press

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