In the upcoming days, Canadian athletes will take part in various cross-country events ranging from Relay to Men’s 50 kilometre Mass Start. After learning how far Canadian wildlife travels, the distances these athletes cross won’t seem so impressive.
Bronze Medal- Caribou
Caribou deserve the bronze medal for travelling more than any other land animal. As many as half a million of these long distance runners will travel together for 5,000 kilometres in search of food and suitable breeding grounds each year. The 2.4 million Caribou that live in Canada must trek through rocky terrain, water, and snow.
Silver Medal-Leatherback Sea Turtle
The Leatherback Sea Turtle is an experienced traveler who can swim 10,000 kilometres a year! They have even been known to cross the Atlantic Ocean and beyond from the east coast of Canada to Indonesia. As the world’s largest reptile they have a speed unmatched by many.
Gold Medal- Monarch Butterfly
There is no cross-country journey more incredible than the Monarch Butterfly migration. These bright orange butterflies travel by the millions more than 7,000 kilometres to meet in the forested hills of Mexico. Much like the relay events in cross-country skiing, a single Monarch won’t complete the entire migration. They will stop to lay eggs along the migration route, die, and their offspring will continue the journey. It can even take three or four generations of Monarch to reach their destination!