Next week, Rémi Drolet ’24 will be cross-country skiing on an Olympic trail that runs along the Great Wall of China. Drolet has always dreamed of being an Olympian — although even his dreams may not have included such a majestic backdrop. Representing Team Canada in Beijing, he is only the third Harvard skier to compete in the Olympics, and the first since 1984.
“I’m really looking forward to just the overall atmosphere, just seeing what it’s like in the Olympic village and at the venues, seeing the Olympic rings posted everywhere,” Drolet said.
A decorated member of the Canadian National team, Drolet was originally an Olympic team alternate, and was thrilled to make the final roster. “It’s really kind of surreal to be here, because I feel like you dream about this when you’re a kid,” Drolet said. “And for the past four years, it’s really been one of my major goals to make it to the Olympics, and it wasn’t easy. But I made it.”
Named Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association 2020 Rookie of the Year in 2019-20, Drolet took a leave from Harvard this year to pursue his Olympic dream, spending his time competing and training in Canada, Finland, and Sweden. Most recently, the native of Rossland, British Columbia, had been training in Mammoth Lakes, California, in preparation for the higher-altitude trails outside of Beijing.
While he has had singular focus on training, the Adams House resident, who is studying physics and math, said he has missed the Cambridge campus during his time away.
“I really miss my friends and School in general. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Harvard, and the time on the team has been great,” said Drolet. “My teammates, my coaches here are really awesome, and the friends and relationships I’ve built here have really encouraged me to push as hard as I can go.”