Olympian Michael Gilday announces his retirement from speed skating

Yellowknife, September 23, 2014 – 2014 Olympian Michael Gilday from Yellowknife, N.W.T., announced today he is retiring from short track speed skating.
 
The 27-year-old finished sixth in the men's relay event with his Canadian teammates and 17th in the 1500m event at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
 
Gilday held the 1000m world record from Oct. 14, 2007, to Jan. 18, 2009, with his time of 1:23.815, which was then beaten by his teammate Charles Hamelin (1:23.454). He has held the national record in the 1500m (2:06.57) since 2009 and is part of the current Canadian men's relay record holding team with Charles Hamelin, François Hamelin and Olivier Jean - they combined for a time of 6:30.958 in 2012.
 
In seven senior international seasons since 2006, Gilday won 30 World Cup medals, including seven gold and 20 medals in relay. He was also a member of the gold medal relay team at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships.
 
"I have loved devoting my life to short track speed skating on a full time basis for the past nine years, and it isn't an easy decision to announce my retirement. Throughout my career the highs have definitely outweighed the lows, and it has been an honour and a privilege to wear the Maple Leaf and to represent Canada at the Olympics, World Championships and on the World Cup circuit”, Gilday said.
 
Speed Skating Canada’s men’s national team head coach Derrick Campbell salutes his athletic qualities.
 
“Michael was a very focused and determined athlete and he had an incredible work ethic. He is an athlete who steadily improved through his career”, said Campbell.
 
“We will definitely miss him. He was a great teammate and we know he had more in him. But at the same time, we are happy for him.”
 
Gilday thanked those who helped him realize his Olympic dream.
 
“The list of people that I would like to thank for helping me succeed in the sport is extremely long, but I would like to extend a special thank you to all of the volunteers who make short track speed skating possible in Canada, to the support and medical staff of Speed Skating Canada who kept my body in tip top shape over the years and lastly to all of my teammates and the people I have met over more than 20 years of speed skating that have made the sport so much fun to be a part of. “
 
“Even though I will be moving away from the elite level of the sport, I hope to remain close to the speed skating community in Canada and to give back to the sport that has given me so much."
 
Gilday is currently in the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Calgary.
 
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 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 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

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