Lévis welcomes the country’s best junior short track speed skaters this weekend for Speed Skating Canada’s Canadian Junior Championships

Lévis, December 17, 2015 – The top 62 junior short track speed skaters in Canada will be in action this weekend, December 18-20, at the Centre Bruno-Verret (981, Lagueux Road) in Lévis, QC, for Speed Skating Canada’s 2015 Canadian Junior Championships.

The 30 male and 32 female skaters, between 14 and 19 years old of age inclusively, will aim for one of the four spots per gender available to represent the country at the 2016 World Junior Short Track Championships, January 29-31, in Sofia, Bulgaria. They will be chosen based on their overall results at the Canadian Junior Championships in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events.

The competition, hosted by the Club de patinage de vitesse de Lévis and the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec under the leadership of Speed Skating Canada, will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday (1500m) and Saturday (500m), and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 pm Sunday (1000m and 1500 Super Final).

The double silver Olympic medalist in the relay event, Kalyna Roberge from Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon, now a borough of the city of Lévis, will be the honorary president for the competition.

"To be the honorary president is a real honour for me," said Kalyna Roberge. "I'm really happy! How touching it is to know that the speed skating community is still thinking about me. I'm happy to have this opportunity to give back to my sport, and most of all to be with the younger skaters, who have been really important to me throughout my career."

Rising stars to watch
Among the participants, four members of last year's Junior National Team will try to again represent Canada at the 2016 World Junior Short Track Championships: Genève Bélanger (Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough), Alyson Charles (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough), and Maxime Laoun (Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie borough), all from Montreal, as well as Rosalie Tremblay from Saint-Félicien, QC.

Bélanger, who took part in the World Junior Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2015, represented Canada at two senior World Cups last season while qualifying for the 2015 World Senior Championships held in Moscow.

Maxime Laoun skated in the past two World Junior Championships. At the Fall World Cup Selections in September, Laoun finished fourth in one of the 1000m race to take the ninth spot in the overall ranking.

Alyson Charles and Rosalie Tremblay qualified for their first World Junior Championships last year in Osaka, Japan. At the Fall World Cup Selections, Charles took the fifth position in the 1500m to finish tenth in the overall ranking. Tremblay, member of the Development National team, won three medals at the Canada Games last winter in Prince George, B.C.

On the men’s side, Marc-Olivier Lemay from Montreal (Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough), triple medalist at the 2015 Canada Games, will also be one to watch, as well as Steven Dubois from Lachenaie, QC, who took the fourth spot at the Canadian Open National Qualifier, held November 19-22 in Richmond, B.C., competition which also included senior skaters. Lemay finished third overall in this competition.

Also on the women side, Genève Bélanger will also need to have a look at Danaé Blais from Châteauguay, QC, also a member of the National Development Team. Last year, Blais finished first overall at the Canadian Open National Qualifier and ninth at the 2015 Canadian Junior Championships.
Béatrice Lamarche from Quebec City, who won two gold medals and one silver at the 2015 Canada Games, will also be in action.

More info, including the full schedule and results, are available on Speed Skating Canada’s Website: 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 and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

- 30 -

For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
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