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    Saturday, January 24, 1998

    Boarders back on Canada's squad

    By MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun
    Canada's Winter Olympic team is back at full strength thanks to some hard work by the Canadian Snowboarding Federation.
     The CSF was shocked to learn earlier this week that the International Ski Federation (FIS) had left three of Canada's four-woman half-pipe team off the list of those who had qualified for the Nagano Olympics.
     CSF executive director Mike Wood led the charge this week in getting FIS to expand its entry list to 25 from the original 20 to include the three Canadians and another two more from as-yet-to-be-determined countries.
     "Primarily, it is the efforts of the CSF to bring to the attention of the FIS that the rankings that were used did not include a December 1996 event," said Mark Lowry, an official with the Canadian Olympic Association.
     "They made a very solid case. We tried to help where we could, but it was primarily their efforts."
     According to Wood, the rankings used by the FIS to determine the 20 participants went from January 1997 to January 1998.
     Wood and his group believed the event held in December 1996 would also count. Including that event, all four Canadians would have qualified.
     In the interest of the athletes, the FIS decided to expand the entry list.
     The decision means Natasza Zurek of Vancouver, Lori Glazier of Courtice, Ont., Tara Teigen of Calgary and Maelle Ricker of Vancouver will all be heading over to Nagano.
     "I don't think anyone's to blame in this," said Carol Anne Letheren, the COA's executive director and secretary general. "(FIS) responded very quickly. They dealt with reason very well and they made sure no athletes suffered."