Speed Skating Canada Names 2007-08 National Long Track Teams

After another successful season on the international scene in both long track and short track speed skating, Speed Skating Canada (SSC) named its 2007-08 Long Track National and Development teams. Almost all of the athletes are returning, with many new faces joining them in the quest for gold.

The 2007-08 long track national team is made of the athletes who either skated at the World Single Distance Championships, World All Round Championships or World Sprint Championships in 2007, plus those who made the top 28 ISU World Cup Final Rankings. The Development Team comprises the top two male and female skaters for each distance who have not already been named to the national team, as well as skaters who finished in the top eight and top 1/3 of the field overall or in a single distance at the World Junior Championships.

Led by veterans Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON), Christine Nesbitt (London, ON), Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB), Denny Morisson (Fort St. John, BC) and Arne Dankers (Calgary, AB), the entire 2006-07 national team will be once again skating for Canada, with the exception of Krisy Myers (Lloydminster, SK) and Jamie Ivey (Stittsville, ON), who both retired. Justine L’Heureux (Ste-Tite, QC), Jeff Kitura (Langley, BC) and Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) are stepping up from the development team. After a record breaking season in 2006-07 that saw long track speed skaters capture 27 world cup medals and 18 world championship medals, SSC has high hopes for the 2007-08 season.

As for the previous seasons, teams will be selected for the various world cups and World Championships based on the skaters’ results at the Fall World Cup Trials and Canadian Single Distance Championships.

The development team is welcoming many new faces, both on the men and women’s side. Following strong performances on the Canada Cup circuit, Nicole Garrido and Tamara Oudenaarden are joining Shannon Sibold and Marilou Asselin on the women’s development team.

On the men’s team, Mark Jesney, Dustin Johnson, Adam McCabe, Muncef Ouardi, Kyle Parrot and Philippe Riopel are all returning, and they will be skating alongside Jamie Gregg and Jordan Belchos, who joined speed skating through the Own the Podium recruitment program last year, Aaron Sadlier, Vincent Blouin and Matt McLean.

Speed Skating Canada also named a “Talent 2014 Squad”, made of the skaters who are currently not on either the National or Development team, but who are hopefuls for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. This team currently has three members: Alexandre Garant, Kirsti Lay and Kelsey Duffield. They have been selected based on their participation in one or more World Junior Championships in the last three years.

For the complete list of both the National and Development long track speed skating teams for 2007-08, please visit the High Performance, Athletes Bios - Long Track section of the SSC Website.