Short Track Speed Skater Valérie Maltais will represent Canada… in inline skates

The Olympic medalist will represent Canada at the Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico

Montreal, July 10, 2014 – A few months prior to the beginning of a new Olympic cycle in Short Track Speed Skating, 2014 Olympic Games silver medalist in the Women Team Relay event, Valérie Maltais, will continue her preparation by representing Canada in Mexico but in inline skates.

The athlete from Saguenay (borough La Baie), QC, will take part in the inline speed skating events at the Pan American Sports Festival held in Puebla, Mexico, July 16-19.

One year prior to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, which will start July 10, 2015, the Pan American Sports Festival is aiming to contribute to the preparation of the athletes toward the Pan American Games. Competitions in 20 individual sports will be held across Mexico July 11-September 30 with an estimated participation of 3,600 athletes and officials.

During the transition period following the Sochi Games, the 2010 and 2014 Olympian turned to inline skating to continue her training with the approval of and supervised training by Speed Skating Canada’s coaches. She qualified for Mexico last spring. The top two female and male athletes during this competition had the opportunity to represent the country at the Pan American Sports Festival.

“Following my last Olympic year, I was looking to be outside as much as possible. I felt a little bit tired and I think I needed to be outside”, said Valérie Maltais. “I’ve been doing inline skating for a while and I always wanted to go further to take part in some competitions in this sport. I’m often doing 10 km, 15 km, half marathons and marathons. For sure to do long distances like that will help my training toward the next season on ice.”

The Inline Skating National Team Coach, Simon Clément, a short track speed skating fan and coach, thinks that Valérie Maltais will find some positive things from this experience.

“Valérie will get even more agility and stability which will help her once back on the ice while working on her push," he analyzed. “There is more contacts in inline skating, especially during the starts, and I think she will also be able to reinforce her strategy in short track speed skating.”

Six-time Olympic medalist, Cindy Klassen, took part in inline skating events at the end of her junior career at the 1999 Pan American Games held in Winnipeg. She finished among the top five.

More details regarding the Pan American Sports Festival are available on the website:  www.festivaldeportivo.com/en/.

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:
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