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Canadian coach Wadsworth helps out Russian skier

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CBC
2/11/2014 12:29:22 PM
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Justin Wadsworth may be the head coach of the Canadian cross-country team, but that doesn't mean he won't help a rival skier in need.

When Russia's Anton Gafarov crashed and broke a ski during a semifinal heat in the men's cross-country sprint, Wadsworth was right there to help.

Gafarov was clearly out of the race, but still wanted to finish in front of the home crowd. But his ski was too badly damaged in the crash and he took another tumble into the snow.

That's when Wadsworth went to help. The Canadian coach ran onto the slope, spare ski in hand, and quickly fastened it to Gafarov's boot, drawing a cheer from the crowd. Though the Russian was three minutes behind his competitors, he still finished the race thanks to the Canadian coach's help.

It brought back memories of the 2006 Olympics in Torino, when Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen helped out Canadian cross-country skier Sara Renner in the team sprint event. Renner broke her ski pole halfway through the race, and Haakensmoen provided her with a new one.

Ironically, the move prevented Norway from winning a medal in the event, as Renner and Beckie Scott won silver, while the Norwegians finished in fourth. As a token of their appreciation, fans across Canada donated five tonnes of maple syrup to Haakensmoen as a thank you gift.

Anton Gafarov breaks ski (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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