Speed Skating Canada Names 2007-08 National Short Track Teams

Coming off a strong post-olympic season in short track speed skating, Speed Skating Canada named its 2007-08 National and Development teams. Almost all of the athletes are returning, and many new faces will make their first appearance on the international scene this year.

In short track speed skating, the selection process is quite simple: all ten skaters who went to the 2007 World Championship were first named to the national team, plus the three top ranked skaters both on the men and women’s side, who had not already been selected. The development team is made up of the skaters ranked 9th to 14th in the 2006-07 season.

2007 World Team Championships gold medallists Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean, François-Louis Tremblay, and brothers Jean-François and Marc-André Monette, as well as bronze medallists Kalyna Roberge, Amanda Overland, Anne Maltais, Annik Plamondon and Nita Avrith will all be leading the short track 2007-08 National Team.

They will be joined by veterans Jonathan Guilmette, Alanna Kraus and Tania Vicent, who were all away from competition last season due to injuries, as well as Anouk Leblanc-Boucher, who should be back training in the fall following the birth of her first child in June (2007), and Mathieu Turcotte, coming back after a well-deserved year off the circuit.

Ivanie Blondin, Jessica Gregg and Valérie Maltais will round up the women’s national team, while Mathieu Giroux, Steve Robillard, Rémi Beaulieu, and François Hamelin will complete the men’s squad. The athletes who will participate in the various World Cups and World Championships will be selected at the first and second National Team Selections.

The 2006-07 season saw many athletes take part in their first international competition, and yet the Canadian short track speed skaters managed to capture 32 world cup medals and 10 world championship medals. With the return of many veterans this time, SSC has high hopes for the 2007-08 season.

The women’s development team will be made up of many new faces, with only Valérie Lambert and Jessica Hewitt returning. On the men’s side, Joël Mineau, Nicolas Bean and Michael Gilday will all come back, and they will be joined by three new teammates.

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: Guillaume Bastille, Vincent André and Maxime Fortin. 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 short track speed skating teams for 2007-08, please visit the High Performance, Athletes Bios - Short Track section of the SSC Website.