Speed Skating Canada announces its team for the 2016 ISU World Sprint Long Track Speed Skating Championships

Calgary, February 22, 2016 – Bronze medalist in the 500m at recent World Single Distance Championships Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, as well as Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, AB, will represent Canada at the ISU World Sprint Championships, February 27-28, in Seoul, South Korea.

All skaters will take part in two 500m races and two 1000m events to crown a champion based on the cumulative ranking. Each day, one race on each distance will be held, and no medal will be given for each individual distance, only for the final ranking.

Following a breakthrough season where he won four medals so far in World Cups as well as a bronze medal in his first-ever World Single Distance Championships in Kolomna, Russia, all in the 500m, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix will pursue his season at the World Sprint Championships in South Korea.

“The World Sprint Championships are a bonus for me, analyzed Alex Boisvert-Lacroix. I have a lot of success in the 500m this season and, surprisingly, I’m not doing so badly on 1000m too. I’ll need to have two great 500m to compensate for my 1000m which may be a little bit weaker, especially on a slow ice like in Seoul.”

“I don’t have as much big goals as I had for the World Single Distance Championships”, added Boisvert-Lacroix which took the 13th spot in his only 1000m race of the season at the World Cup in Salt Lake City. “I’m mostly going there to get more experience and to go to South Korea two years prior to the Olympic Games. It’s a good opportunity to go there and get the feeling even if this is not in the 2018 Games venue.”

Laurent Dubreuil, who just missed his qualification for the World Single Distance Championships, will also be in action in Seoul. Following his five medals in World Cup and the bronze at the World Single Distance Championships in the 500m last season, Dubreuil climbed once on the podium this year with a bronze medal in the 500m at the World Cup in Salt Lake City.

“I’m very excited for the World Sprint Championships”, expressed Laurent Dubreuil, who took the sixth spot in his only 1000m race in the B division this season at the World Cup in Stavanger, Norway. “I had good training in the past weeks and my goal is to improve from my eight position finish last year at this competition, which was my best-ever result at the World Sprint Championships.”

“I’m also going back to where I won my first-ever World Cup medal and I hope the good memories will help me to end the season on a good note!”

In the women’s side, Heather McLean, two-time bronze medalist in the 500m who took the 9th spot in this same event at the World Single Distance Championships, and Kaylin Irvine, 15th in the 1000m in Kolomna, will be the Canadian representatives.

“I would like to finish top 12 after all races, said Heather McLean. Also, my goal in the 500m is to build from my races at the World Single Distance Championships by correcting some of the mistakes I made. For the 1000m, I want to use my top speed in the first 600m and try and hang on for a good time.”

McLean’s best performance in the 1000m this season was a sixth place finish in the B division at the World Cup in Heerenveen.

Kaylin Irvine best results this season was a second place in the 500m B division at the World Cup stage in Salt Lake City, and her 15th spot in the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships.

“My goals are to build on the good races I’ve already had this season, added Kaylin Irvine. I’m looking for more consistency in my 500m as they’ve been inconsistent this year. So, I’ve really like to have two solid 500m races and, of course, in the 1000m as well. I want to learn everything I can about Korea that may be advantageous in the future.”

The Canadian team will try to find a spot on the podium in overall standings for the first time since 2012 on the women's side (Christine Nesbitt, silver), and since 2008 in the men's competition (Jeremy Wotherspoon, silver).

Last year in Astana, Kazakhstan, Laurent Dubreuil was the best Canadian with an eight place finish. In the women’s side, Heather McLean took the 23rd spot.

Members of the Canadian Team at the 2016 ISU World Sprint Championships

WOMEN                                                              
-IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB)
-McLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB)

MEN
-DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC)
-BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC)

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at 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 sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval 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

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