Four-time Olympic medalist Éric Bédard returns to the Canadian program as the National Team Coach of the men's short track team

Montreal, August 1st, 2018 – Speed Skating Canada is happy to announce the appointment of Éric Bédard as the National Team Coach to lead the Canadian men's short track speed skating team.
 
Éric Bédard's first day on the job in his new role will be August 13.
 
After winning four medals over three Olympic Games as a speed skater, Éric Bédard from Saint-Thècle, QC, was head coach of Germany's short track team at the Vancouver Games in 2010, and the Italian team at the Sochi Games in 2014, where his skaters won three medals. He then moved on to France, where he was head coach for a year, before returning to Canada as Manager of the short track high performance programs at Calgary's Olympic Oval, from 2015 to 2018. Since 2016, he has also been High Performance Director at the Ontario Speed Skating Association.
 
While working in those different capacities, he also shared his expertise by organizing training courses for the development of coaches and athletes.
 
“To come back to the Maurice-Richard Arena and Montreal following my retirement in 2006 and after so many years of being away is very special, especially in such a prestigious role that is greatly esteemed around the world,” said Éric Bédard. “I remember my beginnings in Saint-Thècle, in the Mauricie area, and to now have the opportunity to coach the best speed skaters in the world, here in Montreal, is something that makes me quite proud. And, most of all, I am very excited about getting the chance to contribute to my own country's success.”
 
“Last year, we saw the great potential that this team has, for instance with Samuel Girard and his gold medal in the 1000m to go along with his two fourth-place finishes at the Olympics, with the relay team that came back from PyeongChang with a bronze medal, and also Charles Hamelin and the world championship title he won. My work, now, will be to ensure the continued progress of this team, but also of the next generation to come, so as to continue Canada's tradition of excellence in short track speed skating moving towards the 2022 Games and beyond,” added Éric Bédard, who also wanted to thank the Ontario Speed Skating Association.
 
“Speed Skating Canada is excited to have secured such an experienced and qualified candidate as Éric Bédard as the National Team Coach of our Short Track Men’s Program,” said Speed Skating Canada’s Chief Sport Officer, Shawn Holman.

“Éric not only brings a wealth of experience that he has gained internationally to elevate our men’s program to achieve podium performances at World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games, but he also has an overarching vision and experience of how the development pathway across Canada creates sustainable performances for 2022 and beyond. This, coupled with his fire and passion that propelled him to his athletic success and which he continues to bring in his coaching roles, will certainly make him a great addition to our team. Welcome aboard Éric!”
 
Éric Bédard won four medals over three Olympic Games throughout his career in short track, i.e. gold in the men's relay and bronze in the 1000m at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, gold in the men's relay in 2002 in Salt Lake City, U.S.A., and silver in the relay in 2006 in Torino, Italy. He was inducted to the Canadian Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 2004 and to Speed Skating Canada's Hall of Fame in 2008, and then to the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
 
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website 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
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
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