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Canadian cross-country ski coach gets a pleasant surprise

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, 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.

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?"

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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."

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About the Author
European Columnist

Eric Reguly is the European columnist for The Globe and Mail and is based in Rome. Since 2007, when he moved to Europe, he has primarily covered economic and financial stories, ranging from the euro zone crisis and the bank bailouts to the rise and fall of Russia's oligarchs and the merger of Fiat and Chrysler. More

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