So far this season, Jean-Marc Gaillard has posted two World Cup results: 54th and 41st place. Gaillard was not selected for the French team to Tour de Ski. And he doesn’t have much to show when the Olympic team selection is made.
The 41-year-old had hoped to raise Cain at the World Cup races on home course in Les Rousses, France, this weekend. Or if not then, at least at the World Cup in Planica, Slovenia, on January 21 to 23. But the Omicron wave of the corona virus changed everything.
Looking for a Plan C
Last week, the World Cup Les Rousses, was canceled. This week, the World Cup in Planica was canceled. Suddenly, there were no more opportunities to qualify for the Olympics, which start on February 4. And Gaillard will miss the Winter Games for the first time since 2006.
But Gaillard doesn’t complain. Such are the rules.
“I’m the one in charge. I know you have to go fast. It’s the moment you start to be average that you find things to complain about in the selections. If you go fast, you never have a problem. I knew I wouldn’t be given any special treatment at my age. I wasn’t expecting anything and I’m not disappointed,” Gaillard says to Skis Infos.
Wanted to exit with a bang
While Gaillard doesn’t complain about not making the Olympics, he is disappointed about how he will leave his World Cup career.
After participating in four Olympic Games and nine World Championships, as well as 300 World Cup races, he would have liked to say goodbye in front of a packed stadium with cheering crowds. Now he might be looking at capping his career with an anonymous citizen race void of fans and spectators.
“I knew this was the year I was going to turn the page. So, I would have liked to know when the last World Cup event was, in order to experience it differently,” Gaillard says, noting that the pandemic have made things rather complicated.
“At the moment, it’s really complicated. The children cannot go to school because the classes are closed, the races are canceled, there are so many things to manage and everything is linked. We live in a crazy world,” Gaillard says.
“I was hoping to have a normal last season by postponing the retirement deadline because last year was not a normal season, but it’s almost worse this year.”