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Tough race sees Parry Sound’s Graham Ritchie finish 11th in cross-country skiing relay

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In Parry Sound native Graham Ritchie’s second event of the Winter Olympics, he and his three Canadian teammates finished 11th in the 4 x 10 kilometer cross-country ski relay event.

The 23-year-old Ritchie, competing in his first Olympics, raced the first 10 kilometers. He was around three minutes behind the leaders when he finished and his teammates Antoine Cyr, Olivier Léveillé, and Remi Drolet weren’t able to make up the difference.

The Canadians finished about one minute ahead of the Czech Republic team, who finished last, ahead of the People’s Republic of China, Slovenia, and Estonia, who didn’t finish the race.

The Russian Olympic Committee won the event finishing more than a minute ahead of silver medalists Norway.

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The athletes competing battled through the first snowstorm of the games. It caused the women’s freeski slopestyle qualification to be rescheduled for Sunday morning. That event will include Megan Oldham, who also calls Parry Sound home. This will be her second event of the Olympics, having finished just four-and-a-half points away from a bronze medal in the first-ever women’s freeski big air event Monday.

Ritchie was half a second away from qualifying for the men’s cross country skiing sprint free semifinals. He finished 34th in the event on Tuesday.

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