Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

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?"

Story continues below advertisement

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."

Report an error Licensing Options
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


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨