Olympian Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg retires from speed skating

Calgary, May 15, 2014 - Olympian Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg (Red Deer, AB) announced today her decision to retire from competitive long track speed skating.

The 34-year-old athlete skated internationally for seven seasons and realized her Olympic dream by participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she placed 33rd in the 500m. She made her World Cup debut in 2003.

“Throughout the years I have met many coaches, teammates, as well as competitors from Canada and all from around the world. All of these people impacted my life not only as a skater but also as a person and I will always remember the lessons I have learned from them,” Wotherspoon-Gregg said.

Wotherspoon-Gregg originally planned to retire in 2010 but an injury kept her from realizing her Olympic dream in Vancouver in 2010, so she stayed on for four more years.

“My body knows it is finished with hard training and my mind needs to focus on other things, but I am truly thankful for this sport and for all of the opportunities it has given me and for all the amazing people I have met on my journey,” she said.

“I hope to keep involved in the sport in the future and keep cheering on my teammates as well as to help younger skaters find their paths.”

Wotherspoon-Gregg has a degree in international relations from the University of Calgary and is the founder of Team Icespire, a group of Canadian national team skaters that includes husband Jamie Gregg. Team Icespire’s goal is to inspire and empower their community through sport, teamwork, healthy living and respect according to their website www.teamicespire.com.

“Danielle was an excellent teammate,” said her coach Michael Crowe. “She was like a team mom who kept us organized and on point. She was a great example for our team, on focus, maximizing her technical points at every practice to get the most out of herself.”

Speed Skating Canada president Marie-Claire Rouleau congratulated Wotherspoon-Gregg  on her career and thanked her for her contribution to the sport.

“Danielle was not only a great athlete, she was also a role model for her teammates because of her focus, her sense of organization and her hard work at every practice, which allowed her to achieve her Olympic dream in 2014,” Rouleau said.

“On behalf of Speed Skating Canada’s community, congratulations Danielle and good luck for your next challenges.”

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 13,000 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.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

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