ING Speed Skating Challenge Down to Final 4 Video Stories

– Young Skaters Square-Off for a Spot in the National Final –

With thousands of online votes pouring in from across the country in the second annual ING Speed Skating Challenge, only four videos remain in the search to find Canada’s best speed skating story.

Two classic matchups headline the Western and Eastern Finals with the winners advancing to the National Final.

In Western Canada, it’s a battle between British Columbia and Alberta featuring Tori Spence from Kamloops and Calgary’s Sam Wilson.

Tori Spence, the daughter of a speed skating visionary with big dreams, saw the ING Speed Skating Challenge as a way to pay tribute to her late father. “We thought it would be cool to do one in memory of my dad and how he helped us in skating,” said Tori.

Sam Wilson, a young skater who calls the Olympic Oval home, isn’t resting on his ringing endorsement by Olympic Champion and speed skating icon Clara Hughes and he wants Canada to know that he’ll “continue to work hard” to earn enough votes to represent Western Canada in the National Final.

In Eastern Canada, it’s a battle between Ontario and Quebec featuring Scott MacHattie of Mississauga and Bruno Pettersen-Coulombe of Varennes.

The inspirational story of Scott MacHattie – an athlete with Down syndrome out of the Oakville Speed Skating Club – has become a trailblazer for special needs athletes encouraging them to get involved in the inclusive sport of speed skating.

Speed skating is really a family sport, and the Pettersen-Coulombe clan proves it: four children, four speed skaters. Bruno was first to take up speed skating, inspired by the Nagano Olympic Games, and his entire family followed!

Will your favorite video be crowned Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story?

Votes from previous rounds will not be carried over, so get online today and vote for your favorite video story at www.INGSpeedSkatingChallenge.com.

Votes from previous rounds will not be carried over. Semi-final voting begins Monday March 2, 2009 and ends Sunday March 8, 2009. Voting rounds begin and end at 12 AM Midnight MST.

The final two video stories will be announced Monday March 9, 2009 and the winner will be crowned March 21, 2009 at the ING Video Awards Party, during the season’s final weekend of competition at the ING Finale at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

ING and Speed Skating Canada partners have provided over $25,000 in prizes for community speed skating clubs and young skaters.