Christine Nesbitt Grabs 10th in the 500m, Prepares for the 1000m event

Richmond (Sportcom) – Christine Nesbitt (77.57) finished in 10th place in the women’s 500m event held at the Richmond Oval Tuesday, at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. On top of the podium was Korean skater Sang-Hwa Lee (76.09) just ahead of silver medallist, German Jenny Wolf (76.14) and bronze medallist China’s Beixing Wang (76,63).

Two other Canadians were skating today - Shannon Rempel (78.82) who came in 27th, and Anastasia Bucsis (79.755) in 34th.

“I was really happy after my first heat, but when I talked with someone from Team Canada in the changerooms, they mentioned that I perhaps should not be so contented. I thought about it, and said to myself that they were probably right, so I wanted to do a better job in the second heat; I concentrated on technical aspects of my skating. That advice paid off, and now I’m really satisfied; the 500m event isn’t my speciality, but now the time gap is smaller,” confirmed the London, Ontario native. Nesbitt is a par excellence 1000m and 1500m event skater.

Just as she has done since the start of World Cup racing this season, the 24 year-old athlete is participating in the shorter distance event in preparation for her preferred distances. “The 500m events put me into a racing frame of mind. Today (Tuesday), I had good starts, I felt strong and I skated well technically. Overall, I feel confident!”

Shannon Rempel, for her part, isn’t hiding the fact that she isn’t quite having the season she wanted to have this year.

“I’m having some difficulty identifying what’s going on, a part from the knowledge that I am closer time-wise to the leaders in the World Cups that took place last Autumn. In that sense, I am trying to get the most of this experience. My starts were slow, but the rest of it went well; at least I have that,” explained the Winnipeg resident.

Even if she finished in the second-to-last place, Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) was positively glowing post-race. The reason: her participation at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games is quite an achievement – just one year ago, she made the leap from the long track development team to the Olympic team.

“It was totally different from what I would expect or anything that I've experienced," she said. "It showed me that I've got a lot to learn obviously... I can improve in a lot of areas. But it was amazing, really positive. I’m only 20 years old, and that puts things into perspective; I see this experience as quite inspiring. In June, I wanted to be ready for the Olympic trials, but I didn’t have the courage to say outright that I wanted to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games,” mused Bucsis.

It was teammate and friend Christine Nesbitt who convinced the young athlete that she deserved a place on the Olympic Team. “I’m a bit obsessed with my technique, and I can be rather hard on myself in the effort to improve. Last week, Christine told me to ‘be cool’ and to have fun because all of my objectives had already been acheived.”

Wednesday, the men’s 1000m event will take place, the Canadian skaters in action will be
Denny Morrison, Jeremy Wotherspoon, François-Olivier Roberge and Kyle Parrott.


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Written by Sportcom for Speed Skating Canada
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