Canada represented by seven long track speed skaters at the World Cup Final in Norway

Calgary, March 9, 2017 – Canada will be represented by seven long track speed skaters at the World Cup Final to be held March 11-12 in Stavanger, Norway: Jordan Belchos from Toronto, ON, Ted-Jan Bloemen from Calgary, AB, Ivanie Blondin from Ottawa, ON, Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, Laurent Dubreuil from Lévis, QC, Marsha Hudey from White City, SK, and Olivier Jean from Lachenaie, QC.

The World Cup Final is limited to the best skaters based on the World Cup rankings following the first five stages as stated in the ISU Communication #2031, including the 12 best in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m, the 20 best in the mass start events and the six best in the team events. Canadian skaters also had to self-fund their participation to this competition.

At the World Cup Final, the point system is expanded for the top five finishers. Winner of each race gets 150 points compared to 100 for the other World Cups, followed by 120 (80) for second, 104 (70) for third, 90 (60) for fourth and 76 (50) for fifth, except for the 500m event where both races are worth half the points (75 points for each race winner).

Ivanie Blondin looking for redemption
In the Women's Mass Start, Ivanie Blondin is looking for revenge after finishing 10th at the last World Single Distance Championships and second last season in the World Cup ranking. Blondin, with 308 points, is currently second behind Bo-Reum Kim from South Korea who has a total of 340 points and who won the gold medal at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships.

Ivanie Blondin will also take part in the 3000m. She is currently in 9th place (176 points).

“I would like to have a better ranking in the 3000m, and for the Mass Start, I would like to finish it off with a good race and bring home a win for our team, said Blondin. It will be tricky and might not work out, but I will definitively try my best to get the title back and try to once again gain the most experience before next season. Also, following the World Single Distance Championships, there is definitively a little bit of revenge flowing through my blood. Compete is what I live for and I will show up and compete every single race.”

Busy weekend for Vincent De Haître
Vincent De Haître will be very busy this weekend by taking part in four events: 1000m, 1500m, team sprint and team pursuit.

In the 1000m, Vincent De Haître, silver medalist at the World Single Distance Championships, is in third place with 320 points, behind Kjeld Nuis (400) and Kai Verbij (370), both from the Netherlands. Laurent Dubreuil is in 17th place.

De Haître will also take part in the 1500m where he is currently sitting in tenth position with 142 points, 128 points away of third place.

He will also be in the team pursuit event with Ted-Jan Bloemen and Jordan Belchos where Canada is fifth with 210 points, 70 points away from first place, and in the team sprint with Laurent Dubreuil and Olivier Jean. Canada is the reigning team sprint World Cup champion and is currently sitting in first place this season.

"I will have a packed schedule at World Cup Final, said Vincent De Haître. With the 1000m and Team Pursuit on the first day and the 1500m and Team Sprint on the second day, it will be a true test of my resilience as an athlete."

“Based on how the season has been unfolding, I’m hoping to step up once more on the podium for the 1000m. As for the 1500m, I'll be looking for a top five. In the team sprint, we are looking to maintain our first overall World Cup ranking. And in the team pursuit, I'm very excited to stretch my legs out and see what I can do", concluded Vincent De Haître.

In the 5000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen is third with 293 points and Jordan Belchos, 16th with 85 points. Jorrit Bergsma is leading with 330 points, followed by Peter Michael (310) of New Zealand. Bloemen won two medals this season in that distance, including a gold medal in Germany and a bronze in Kazakhstan.

“I’ll be looking to defend my medal position in the World Cup rankings, said Ted-Jan Bloemen. Stavanger is a nice place to be and I’m expecting an exciting competition!”

In the 500m, Marsha Hudey is currently sitting in 6th position with 311 points while Laurent Dubreuil is in 11th place with 254 points, at only 54 points off the third place.

In the men's Mass Start, Jordan Belchos is 14th (98 points) and Olivier Jean, 22nd (32).

Todd McClements will be the coach of the Canadian skaters.

The skaters would also like to thank those who contributed to their participation to this World Cup Final: Jordan Belchos (Ontario Speed Skating), Ted-Jan Bloemen (TSA Group Delft B.V., CANFund, Speed Skating Alberta), Ivanie Blondin (CANFund, Ontario Speed Skating and a private donation), Vincent De Haître (Lenovo, CanFund, Ontario Speed Skating Association), Laurent Dubreuil (Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec and Torbjørn Ladstein Fjeld), Marsha Hudey (Jordan St. Onge from the Regina Speed Skating Club who created a GoFundMe page and all those that donated), Olivier Jean (Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec).

Members of the Canadian national team for ISU Final World Cup

WOMEN                                                               
-BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 3000m, Mass Start
-HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK) – 500m

MEN
-BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON) – Mass Start, Team Pursuit
-BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 5000m, Team Pursuit
-DE HAÎTRE, Vincent (Cumberland, ON) – 1000m, 1500m, Team Pursuit, Team Sprint
-DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m, 1000m, Team Sprint
-JEAN, Olivier (Lachenaie, QC) – Mass Start, Team Sprint

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
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Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca   
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC  
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC