Dutch Gold Medal Coach Geert Kuiper to Join Canadian Long Track Program as Technical Advisor

Calgary, August 10, 2018 – World-renowned long track speed skating coach Geert Kuiper from the Netherlands will join the Canadian program as Technical Coach Advisor, starting August 13, 2018.

Kuiper has led his skaters to six Olympic gold medals (Gerard van Velde in the 1000m in 2002; Sven Kramer in the 5000m in 2010 and 2014; and Ireen Wüst in the 1500m in 2010, and in the 1500m and the 3000m in 2014). At the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Kuiper was head coach for the Dutch men and women’s team pursuit and mass start, which brought home four medals (women’s silver and men’s bronze in the team pursuit, and two bronze in the mass start).

Kuiper has been contracted by Speed Skating Canada to work under Long Track High Performance Director Cara Thibault and with the other National Team coaches and the Integrated Support Team to develop Canada’s National Team athletes. He will play a leadership and advisory role in coaching, monitoring and evaluating athletes and training plans, with the goal of leading Canada to podium performances in international competition.

“I am honoured to have been approached for this position by Speed Skating Canada”, said Kuiper. “There is a strong foundation for high performance sport in Canada and I think this is the right place for me and the right time to share my experience with an enthusiastic and talented group of skaters and coaches. I have been to Canada several times and was attracted by its beautiful landscapes and its people. I’m looking forward to working as a Technical Coach Advisor and will give my very best to help Canadian speed skating achieve short and long-term success.”

Kuiper started coaching in 1997 following a speed skating career in which he won three silver and one gold medal in the Dutch Championship sprint events.

Since 1997, Kuiper has worked as a coach for the Dutch speed skating team Sanex (1997-2000), head coach and member of the technical staff of its sprint team (2000-2005), and team coordinator and assistant coach for team TVM (2006-2014). From 2014 to 2018, he was head coach of the Dutch national speed skating team in the mass start and team pursuit events. He holds a level 5 technical coaching license in long track from the Royal Dutch Skating Federation.

“It’s a privilege to have such an experienced coach as Geert Kuiper come to Canada to share his knowledge and expertise enhancing our Long Track Program to reach its goals in Beijing 2022.”, said Speed Skating Canada’s Chief Sport Officer, Shawn Holman. “Building a World class program takes World class people and we are confident Geert will have a significant impact on our High Performance Program, but also system development as we strengthen our athlete pathway for our NextGen 2026 athletes”.

Among other duties, Kuiper will act as a mentor for other coaches, support the development of athlete training, selection criteria and protocols, and support the development, implementation and evaluation of annual and long-term training plans. He will lead coaching teams and provide advice to develop high performance athletes and coaches at the National Training Centres in Calgary and Quebec City, and across the country. He will also play a role in the continued development of Speed Skating Canada’s Long-Term Participant Athlete Development (LTPAD) resources.

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 long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Lead, Communications & Media Relations
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC