Potential battles for the last Olympic spots available set to take place at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections

The competition will be held January 4-9 in Calgary

Calgary, December 29, 2017 – The road to PyeongChang for Canada's long track speed skaters will go through Calgary’s Olympic Oval, site of the 2018 Long Track Team Selections set to take place January 4-9, as athletes will go through the last stage of the individual qualification process.
 
The competition will be held based on the following schedule:
 
Thursday, January 4: women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m.
 
Friday, January 5: women’s and men’s 500m
 
Saturday, January 6: women’s and men’s 1500m
 
Sunday, January 7: off day
 
Monday, January 8: women’s and men’s 1000m
 
Tuesday, January 9: women’s 5000m and men’s 10,000m
 
Held simultaneously to Canada Cup #2, the 2018 Long Track Team Selections events will start each day at 5 pm (Calgary time). Admission is free.
 
Racing will also be webstreamed live on CBC Sports’ website (http://www.cbc.ca/sports), Radio-Canada Sports’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/) and website (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/), and Calgary’s Olympic Oval YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/).
 
A maximum of 20 athletes to select
After the five days of competition at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections, Speed Skating Canada could name a maximum of 20 athletes for the long track events at the 2018 Olympic Games, including a maximum of ten (10) women and ten (10) men.
 
Following the four ISU World Cup Speed Skating stages held last fall, Canada gained maximum of quota spots in each event, except in the men’s 5000m and men’s mass start.
 
Canada will therefore be able to have a maximum of:
-three skaters in the women’s 500m, men’s 500m, women’s 1000m, men’s 1000m, women’s 1500m, men’s 1500m and women’s 3000m;
-two skaters in the women’s 5000m, men’s 10,000m and women’s mass start;
-one skater in the men’s 5000m, men’s mass start, as well as one team in the women’s team pursuit and another one in the men’s team pursuit.
 
Pre-selected athletes
Following the first four ISU World Cup stages of the season, five athletes have already been pre-selected on the Canadian team.
 
After winning medals in World Cups this fall which allowed them to finish among the top five in the ISU Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC), Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, pre-qualified for PyeongChang in the 500m distance, as did Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa in the 3000m and Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary in the 10,000m.
 
Ivanie Blondin also pre-qualified in the women’s 5000m following her bronze medal in this event at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships and her bronze medal in the 5000m at the World Cup held in Stavanger, Norway, and in the women's mass start by finishing the fall World Cups among the top 16 of her gender's overall standings, as did Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, QC, and Keri Morrison of Burlington, ON, who have also pre-qualified in mass start.
 
In the case of Morrison, who is the second best Canadian among the SOQC’s top 16, she “may be nominated at the sole, full and absolute discretion of the Olympic Selection Committee”, based on Speed Skating Canada’s 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Procedures.

Boisvert-Lacroix, Blondin and Bloemen also pre-qualified in their individual events while Canada had at least two quota spots in these events.
 
Selection priorities
Canadian skaters who have not already pre-qualified will not only need to gain remaining spots available at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections, but also achieve one of the following qualifying standards in each event during the period of January 1, 2017, to January 9, 2018, in which they will compete:

1.    500m, 1000m, 1500m, women’s 3000m, men’s 5000m or men’s 10,000m:
to achieve a time equal to or better than the 16th best time on the ISU’s SOQC
2.    500m, 1000m or 1500m:
achieve a top 12 in points placing on the SOQC;
3.    3000m, 5000m or 10,000m:
achieve a top 12 placing based on points on the SOQC (each event ranked separately)
 
Then, in order to respect the maximum number of men and women skaters as well as per country allowed, Speed Skating Canada will name its long track skaters for the PyeongChang Games on a defined order of priorities as stated in Speed Skating Canada’s 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes.

The final Canadian Long Track Speed Skating team for the 2018 Olympic Games will be introduced at a media event on Wednesday, January 10, at 12 pm (Calgary Time), to be held at Jack Singer Concert Hall (205 8 Ave SE) in Calgary.
 
Current situations in play in each Olympic event at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections
Women’s 500m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 37.76
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Marsha Hudey (time and ranking) and Heather McLean (time and ranking)
 
Men’s 500m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 1 (Alex Boisvert-Lacroix)
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 34.47
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC (other than Boisvert-Lacroix): Laurent Dubreuil (time and ranking) and Gilmore Junio (time and ranking)
 
Women’s 1000m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 1:14.46
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Kaylin Irvine (time) and Heather McLean (time)
 
Men’s 1000m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 1:08.01
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Vincent De Haître (time and ranking), Alexandre St-Jean (time and ranking) and Laurent Dubreuil (time)
 
Women’s 1500m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 1:55.35
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Brianne Tutt (time and ranking) and Kali Christ (time)
 
Men’s 1500m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 1:44.14
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Vincent De Haître (time and ranking) and Denny Morrison (time and ranking)
 
Women’s 3000m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 3
-Pre-selected athlete: 1 (Ivanie Blondin)
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 4:03.48
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC (other than Ivanie Blondin): Brianne Tutt (time) and Isabelle Weidemann (time and ranking)
 
Women’s 5000m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 2
-Pre-selected athlete: 1 (Ivanie Blondin)
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 7:15.74
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC (other than Ivanie Blondin): Isabelle Weidemann (time and ranking), Josie Morrison (time) and Victoria Spence (time)
 
Men’s 5000m
-Canada’s Olympic spot: 1
-Pre-selected athlete: 0
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 6:14.51
-Athletes currently eligible based on time or SOQC: Ted-Jan Bloemen (time and ranking)
 
Men’s 10,000m
-Canada’s Olympic spots: 2
-Pre-selected athlete: 1 (Ted-Jan Bloemen)
-Speed Skating Canada’s time standard: 13:12.96
-Athlete currently eligible based on time or SOQC (other than Ted-Jan Bloemen): Jordan Belchos (time and ranking)

The full 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes are available at www.speedskating.ca/2018-og/long-track.

Additional details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

- 30 -

For information:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
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