Canadians in general regard Russia as enemy numero uno when it comes to winter sports, and we have done so ever since the 1972 hockey series between Canada and the USSR.
That being said, I am confident that almost any Canadian would rush to the aid of a Russian athlete and give him a ski or a skate or a hockey stick if his equipment malfunctioned.
It is not enough just to win against your opponents in sports. Any victory where you are not beating your opponent when they are at their best is a hollow victory.
I don’t think that there were any Canadians actually involved in that race, but to me it would be weird not to help that Russian finish the race if you have the opportunity to do so.
My real admiration is as much for the Russian as anybody else. He was bound and determined to finish that race even on a broken ski, if that is what he had to do. There is a real beauty in such passion that I is very uplifting for the rest of us.