Ivan Babikov joined the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team in 2008 from Russia where he began competing on the national team in 2002. While Ivan made his Olympic debut with Russia in 2006, he has helped shape the strongest men’s cross-country ski team ever since gaining his full Canadian citizenship in December 2007. Ivan became one of three Canadian men ever to win a World Cup race when he captured top spot in the final grueling stage of the Tour de Ski in 2009. Ivan and his Canadian teammates also stole the nation’s attention at Whistler Olympic Park when three of them finished in the top-10 in the Olympic pursuit race on home snow at the 2010 Games, while delivering seven top-10 performances as a team throughout the Games.
Ivan immigrated to Canada with his mother in the hopes of pursuing his ski career with the Canadian program. He joined his sister in Toronto (who was already a Canadian citizen since 2001) upon his arrival in the spring, and moved to Canmore in the fall, joining X-C.com for the 2003-04 season. Prior to joining the National Ski Team, Ivan went on to dominate the Continental Cup circuits (Canada Cup/SuperTour) for the next two seasons, racking up 33 individual victories in a variety of distances, with joint support from X-C.com and U.S. Factory Team, until his nomination was confirmed with the 2010 National Ski Team Program in the week leading up to the 2005 FIS World Cup in Canmore. Ivan finished an impressive fourth overall in the 15km skate event, while racing in a Canadian National Ski Team uniform, but under a Russian FIS license – all part of a joint Canada/Russia agreement. He went on to represent Russia at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, finishing 13th in the 30km pursuit event.
In the summer of 2006, an unsuccessful bid to fast track his citizenship, Ivan had little options to generate income other than to return to compete for Russia for the 2006-07 season. In the spring of 2007, Ivan’s mother became a Canadian citizen, motivating the Babikov family to make the conscious commitment to Canada. After relocating to Canmore, Alta., Ivan rejoined Team X-C.com in early summer, allowing him to focus on his own training program and needs. He started the season with renewed energy, winning every single distance race he started in North America!
Ivan is a proud Canadian citizen who enjoys all that Canmore offers with his wife and two children.