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  • canada sked medal results SLAM!  NAGANO

    Tuesday, January 6, 1998

    N.B. snowboarder makes Olympic team

    By GRANT KERR -- Halifax Herald
    KANANASKIS, Alta. - Mark Fawcett is bound for Nagano.
      Sweeping both races yesterday at the Board Dokter Japan snowboard selection trials at Nakiska, the 25-year-old East Riverside native secured his spot on Canada's Olympic giant slalom snowboarding team.
      "I don't think it will hit me until they announce [the team officially]," Fawcett said moments after his runs yesterday.
      Next month in Japan, snowboarding will be a full medal Olympic sport for the first time. The official naming of the team will take place Friday.
      Drawing bib No. 2 before the first race, Fawcett had a combined time of 1 minute, 8.11 seconds, completing the two runs in 33.12 and 34.99 seconds, respectively.
      "I try not to picture myself winning, I try to picture having a good run," Fawcett added. "I can picture perfect runs in my head. I focus on riding well."
      By his own admission, Fawcett has yet to find that perfect race.
      It's been a stunning year for the man Canada is pinning its hopes on for a medal. As good as he is, Fawcett could take the gold.
      In addition to his two wins yesterday, Fawcett won both Olympic trials last month at Whistler, B.C., as well as the U.S. Bud Lite Grand Prix at Sugarloaf, Maine. He also picked up a third at a World Cup event at Whistler.
      Despite the fact he has already qualified for a spot on the Olympic squad, Fawcett will compete in today's final qualifying event at Nakiska.
      Jasey-Jay Anderson of Val Morin, Que., who trains with Fawcett in the United States with Jerry Masterpool's Cross-M Racing Team will likely secure his spot on the four-man Canuck team today. Masterpool, widely regarded as the top snowboarding mentor in the world, will serve as head coach at Nagano.
      Fawcett is so convinced of his coach's abilities he would have gone to any length to ensure the man who has coached him since 1990 was with him in Nagano.
      Had Masterpool not been named Olympic coach, "I would have made sure he would be there," Fawcett said. "We would have pushed to make sure he was the goggle technician or something."
      Ross Rebagliati and Darren Chalmers, both of Whistler, B.C., are among the leading contenders to clinch the remaining two spots on the Olympic roster.