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Justin Wadsworth, head coach of the Canadian ski team, lends a hand to Russian Anton Gafarov who had fallen a broken one of his skis at the Sochi Olympic Games on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 (Screengrab from NBC broadcast)
Justin Wadsworth, head coach of the Canadian ski team, lends a hand to Russian Anton Gafarov who had fallen a broken one of his skis at the Sochi Olympic Games on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 (Screengrab from NBC broadcast)

Canadian cross-country ski coach gets a pleasant surprise Add to ...

Justin Wadsworth, the head coach of the Canadian Olympic cross country team, became something of a media sensation on Tuesday, when he went to the rescue of a Russian athlete, Anton Gafarov, who was felled by a broken ski. Wadsworth handed him a spare ski, allowing Gafarov to get back in the race.

Wadsworth hasn’t heard from the Russian, nor does he expect to.

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But he got a pleasant surprise on Wednesday afternoon, when he was meeting the Canadian media in the alpine town of Rosa Khutor. Using rather good English, a Russian TV journalist Alina Elidje, showed up and asked Wadsworth: “Have any of us Russians said thank you to you?”

Wadsworth replied that another coach did shake his hand, which Wadsworth took as a sign of gratitude. “I will be the second person who will say, thank you, thank you so much, you’re just a great, great guy,” she gushed. “I think the Russians will help anybody from Canada, maybe on the hockey team.”

Follow on Twitter: @ereguly