From bronze to silver, and finally gold. Few athletes can say they’ve been awarded all three shades of Olympic medal – and world-wide there’s only one who can say it was for doing a single race.
Beckie Scott’s sensational Olympic medal-winning ski race in Salt Lake City 2002 became a moment forever etched in Canadian history as she shattered long-held beliefs that the podium was no place for North Americans. Edging out her competitors by 1/100th of a second, Scott finished 3rd in the 10km Pursuit race, winning Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in cross-country skiing, and rewriting the history books of the sport.
In a dramatic sequence of events, Scott’s bronze medal was subsequently upgraded to silver, and finally gold, as it was revealed the 1st and 2nd place finishers in her race had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
With an unwavering commitment to clean, fair sport, Beckie Scott’s story of determination and integrity triumphing over injustice, has become a legendary hallmark of the embodiment of true Olympic excellence.
Growing up in Vermilion, Alberta, Beckie Scott put on her first pair of skis at the tender age of 5. Her active-outdoor-enthusiast parents were founding members of the Vermilion Nordic Ski Club and assisted in building the local park trails. Though Beckie wasn’t initially a natural athlete, she followed in her parent’s energetic footsteps, and quickly developed a love for sport.
By the age of 20, Beckie had joined the Canadian National cross-country ski team and begun racing the international World Cup circuit full-time. At 23, Beckie qualified to race for Canada in her first Olympic games, Nagano, Japan, where her best finish was a disappointing 45th.
Determined and committed to continue trying, Beckie persevered through many years of seemingly insurmountable challenges and obstacles, and eventually began to enjoy small glimmers of success. By 2001, she had won two World cup podiums, and was considered an outside medal hopeful for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Hope became belief as Beckie stepped on to the Olympic podium in 2002 – and Canada’s first-ever Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing was crowned.
Following the 2002 Olympics, Beckie continued racing another Olympic quadrennial, partnering with team-mate Sara Renner to win Olympic silver in the team sprint event at the 2006 Torino Olympic Games.
Beckie Scott retired in 2006 as Canada’s most decorated and successful cross-country ski racer in the history of the sport. Scott blazed a historic trail for Canadians during her career winning an unprecedented 17 world cup medals, 2 Olympic medals (gold and silver), and finishing 2nd in the Overall World Cup standings the last season of her career.
Life After Sport
Upon retirement Scott was elected by her peers to the International Olympic Committee’s Athlete Commission, and served an 8 year term with the IOC. During her tenure she was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. Beckie is currently a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Executive Board and chair of the WADA Athletes’ Commission.
Beckie has worked in broadcasting for CBC and CTV sports, written for CBC Sports online, and published numerous travel articles in the Globe and Mail. She currently works as a facilitator with Ski Fit North Alberta – a physical and mental wellness outreach program for Alberta’s Aboriginal youth.
Articles & Links
Beckie is an inducted member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2007), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (2012), the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame (2011), and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (2009).
She is a recipient of the Governor General’s Meritorious service award, has twice received the John Semmelink Memorial award for most sportsmanlike conduct in winter sport competition, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Alberta.
She has a ski race, Nordic Centre, street and high-performance training facility named after her.
An on-going proponent of drug-free, values based sport, Beckie Scott is a frequent presenter and contributor to global conferences. Ms. Scott is also a Special Representative for UNICEF and an athlete ambassador for Right To Play,
Committed to the success of young people and future athletes of many different backgrounds, Beckie Scott is a compelling champion for physical and mental wellness close to home and around the globe.