Long Track speed skater Tyler Williamson-Derraugh announces his retirement

He is set to become a Manitoba provincial coach and a new dad

Long track speed skater Tyler Williamson-Derraugh, a member of the National Team from 2010 to 2015, announced his retirement today.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Tyler Williamson-Derraugh represented the country at the 2013 and 2015 World Single Distance Championships, at the 2010, 2013 and 2014 World Sprint Championships, and in 19 World Cups. His best performances at the senior international level have been fourth positions in 1000m races at World Cups #4 and #6 in 2013 and in the Mass Start event at World Cup #4 in 2015.
   
“My decision to retire is on account of a few factors”, explained Tyler Williamson-Derraugh, who is 28 years old. “Over this past season, I struggled to find motivation and often found myself skating only because I still had the ability to qualify for the team. However, I was no longer enjoying racing in the same way and, at times, I didn't want to race at all. I wasn't 100% committed anymore. Compounded by the fact that my wife is newly pregnant and I want to provide for my family, it seems like the right time to step away.”

“My favourite skating moment as a competitor was my fourth-place finish at the Calgary World Cup in the 1000m in 2013,” recounted Tyler Williamson-Derraugh. “I clocked a personal best time and a Manitoba Provincial record by finishing the race in 1:07.97. It was an incredible experience to be able to do this at home in front of a home crowd, at an event for which my parents and grandmother had flown out to watch.”

Tyler Williamson-Derraugh started his career in short track as a member of the National Talent Squad in 2008 and 2009. He won the silver medal in the relay event at the 2009 Winter Universiade. Following the 2010 Olympic Games trials, he decided to move on to long track.

Upon announcing his retirement, Tyler Williamson-Derraugh thanked his family, including his mother Lori, who was a National Development team member; his biological father Peter Williamson, who passed away when Tyler was five and who represented Canada in long track speed skating at the 1968 winter Olympic Games in addition to being a substitute on the cycling National Team that same year at the summer Olympics; his stepfather Jeff Derraugh as well as his siblings Chris, Stephanie, Reece, Elizabeth and Connor.

“I would also like to thank the many great coaches who had an impact on my skating career and who I will emulate as I move into my coaching career: Bart Schouten, Peter Mueller, Jon Cavar and Crispin Parkinson. Thanks to everyone; there are too many amazing teammates and skating friends to thank, but you all know who you are.”

"We lose today a great speed skater, whose leadership and performances have helped our team greatly”, said National Team coach Bart Schouten.

“Fortunately, the speed skating community will not lose Tyler, as he will stay active as a coach,” added Schouten. “With his combination of leadership, integrity, great people skills and extensive experience in both Short Track and Long Track, I have no doubt Tyler will develop into an excellent coach."

New projects
Tyler Williamson-Derraugh is retiring as he still needs to complete three courses to earn a degree in Law and Society at the University of Calgary, next spring. However, he will complete his studies through distance teaching, as he will become Manitoba’s Speed Skating provincial coach.

“Things that I will miss the most are the gruelling workouts and pushing yourself to the limit with an amazing team of people doing it with you”, said Tyler Williamson-Derraugh. “I love the team and the training and with coaching, I will be able to share that passion with my kids and still be a part of it. I am extremely excited about the opportunities which lie ahead of me with Manitoba Speed Skating and I cannot wait to be a father. This isn't goodbye; it's a new pursuit.”

“Manitoba Speed Skating Association (MSSA) is proud to have Tyler return home to Manitoba, and I truly believe that Tyler is the perfect fit for our branch”, said Manitoba Speed Skating Association’s President, Caroline Slegers-Boyd.

“Having a member return with his family to further develop the grassroots of our branch is incredible. Our Provincial team members will benefit from Tyler’s World Champion caliber skills, leadership ability and experience. He will be pivotal in the task of taking from start to finish athletes who are age eligible for the next Canada Winter Games. The clubs and members of MSSA no doubt send a warm welcome to Tyler.”

In December, Tyler Williamson-Derrauth will take on another full-time occupation as his wife, Gabrielle Waddell, an ex-short track speed skating National Team member, and him are expecting their first child.

“We are very excited”, said Tyler Williamson-Derraugh. “It is going to be another big change in our lives but we couldn't be happier.”

“I also have to say a big thank you to my wife Gabrielle, who I was fortunate enough to meet through speed skating here in Calgary. She has always supported me and kept me level-headed through the good times and the bad. It makes a huge difference having someone who can relate to your struggles and maintain perspective on what's important.”
 
More information can be found 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 sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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