TEAM CANADA SPEED SKATERS SET TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN SNEAK PREVIEW TO THE 2010 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

With less than 75 days until the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Essent ISU Speed Skating World Cup, December 4-6 will be the final international competition on home-ice for Canada’s best speed skaters prior to the Games.

“The event in Calgary will be a tremendous opportunity for fans to get a sneak preview of the great speed skaters – Cindy Klassen, Jeremy Wotherspoon, Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes, Christine Nesbitt, Denny Morrison – and many others that will represent Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” said Jean R. Dupré, Speed Skating Canada’s Director General.

The Organizing Committee has also launched two initiatives to actively engage fans in the event to help them catch some of the Olympic spirit.

The first fan initiative takes a page from the Calgary Flames playbook with a call to action for Calgary’s fans to Wear Red and Support Canada’s Olympians.

“We like to look at it as a mini C-of-Red,” said Alice Humeny, the Organizing Committee Calgary’s Chair.

“It’s become a Calgary tradition when the Flames are in the Stanley Cup hunt and we’d like to encourage all speed skating fans to put on their brightest reds, show their Canadian pride, and support this incredibly talented team filled with Olympic-medal hopefuls.”

The second fan initiative is the Team Canada Salute presented by WinSport Canada which will serve as the closing ceremonies for the weekend, on Sunday, December 6 following the Team Pursuit event.

For WinSport Canada, which provides two-thirds of the operational funding for the Olympic Oval, the Team Canada Salute is an opportunity to recognize the great contribution the facility has had in developing a country of tremendous speed skaters.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to salute Canada’s best speed skaters in one of the world’s best skating facilities,” said Guy Huntingford, president and CEO of WinSport Canada. “The Essent ISU Speed Skating World Cup is the perfect opportunity to cheer on our Olympic hopefuls on home ice.”

With the event so close to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games the Organizing Committee is expecting a sell-out for the weekend and is encouraging speed skating fans and Calgary families to get advance tickets online at www.speedsk8.ca.

Essent ISU Speed Skating World Cup Schedule

Friday Dec. 4 Event Canadians to watch
12:30 Start 500m W Shannon Rempel
500m M Jamie Gregg
3000m W Clara Hughes, Kristina Groves
1500m M Denny Morrison
Saturday Dec. 5
12:30pm Start 500m W Shannon Rempel
500m M Jamie Gregg
1500m W Christine Nesbitt, Kristina Groves, Cindy Klassen
5000m M Lucas Makowsky
Sunday Dec. 6
11:53am Start 1000m W Christine Nesbitt, Kristina Groves, Cindy Klassen
1000m M Denny Morrison
TP W Team Canada
TP M Team Canada
Team Canada Salute, Presented by WinSport Canada After TP

All Canadian speed skaters
Host - Catriona Le May Doan

Note: Additional information on the Essent ISU World Cup Schedule is available on the official event website: www.speedsk8.ca.