Ted-Jan Bloemen in the 10,000m & Isabelle Weidemann in the 5000m win the last events held at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections

Jordan Belchos added to the provisional Olympic Team

Calgary, January 9, 2018 – Isabelle Weidemann and Ted-Jan Bloemen concluded the 2018 Long Track Team Selections by respectively winning the women's 5000m and men's 10,000m races, Tuesday, at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.
In the 10,000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen from Calgary skated to a time of 12:43.04, less than seven seconds away from his world record of 12:36.30, which he set in Salt Lake City in November of 2015.
Jordan Belchos (13:22.53) from Toronto, ON, and Graeme Fish (13:28.13) from Moose Jaw, SK, respectively came in second and third.
Bloemen and Belchos therefore earned the two spots awarded to Canada in the men's 10,000m for the 2018 Olympic Games. Bloemen had prequalified following the silver medal he won at the World Cup held in Stavanger, Norway, last fall, which allowed him to finish among the top five in the ISU Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC). Jordan Belchos of Toronto, ON, for his part, had already met the time standard of 13:12.96 this fall.
Belchos has therefore been provisionally named to the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Olympic Team and to represent Canada in PyeongChang in the men’s 10,000m along with Bloemen, who had already qualified for the 5000m, depending on the final team composition based on maximum skaters per country, i.e. 10 men and 10 women for a maximum number of 20 skaters per country.
“I have the Olympic shirt sitting in my dresser that’s been there since the Media Summit in June, and I had always refused to wear it or touch it, but now I can finally go home and put it on,” said Jordan Belchos, who has qualified for his first Olympic Games. “It’s like when you put the biscuit on the dog's nose and it has to wait before it can eat it. I’m just going through the acceptance of that right now and it feels good. It's honestly been a stressful few months, that’s for sure!
“Knowing how good the guys are in the 10,000m now, I didn’t feel sure of anything today,” added Belchos. “I’m not necessarily happy with this particular race, but I’m happy with my season and how I did a good race at the World Cup to qualify the spot, and then came here to qualify my spot within the country.”
“I surprised myself a little bit today,” said Bloemen. “I was already qualified for this event, so I didn’t have to race it, but I wanted to do another 10,000m just for the feel of it and to make sure I’m ready for the Olympics. It really came easy today and I managed to stay focused throughout the whole race, which is usually my biggest struggle. I had a lot left in the end and it was really fun to do a couple of fast laps. I didn’t expect to go this fast.”
Weidemann earns Canada's second spot in women's 5000m
In the women's 5000m, Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa won the race in 7:00.64, followed by Josie Morrison (7:05.99) and Victoria Spence (7:13.39), both from Kamloops, B.C.
Weidemann, who had already qualified for the Games in the women's 3000m, therefore earned Canada's second and last spot in the women's 5000m for the 2018 Olympic Games, not only thanks to her ranking, but also after meeting the time standard of 7:15.74, as Morrison and Spence did on Tuesday as well as earlier this season.
Fourth in Tuesday's race, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa had already prequalified in the women's 5000m following the bronze medal she won in that distance at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships and the silver medal she earned in the same event at the World Cup held in Stavanger, Norway.

“It’s a little bit off my personal best, but I’m pretty happy with it,” said Weidemann, whose personal best in this distance is 6:57.84. “I came in just wanting to qualify, so doing the job that I set out to do was pretty exciting.”
“This event is my specialty and the one I do the best in,” added Weidemann. “So qualifying in this one is really exciting to me. Going into the Games knowing this is my event is satisfying and that is what I came in to do.”

The final Canadian Long Track Speed Skating team for the 2018 Olympic Games will be introduced at a media event on Wednesday, January 10, at 12 pm (Calgary Time), to be held at Jack Singer Concert Hall (205 8 Ave SE) in Calgary.
The full 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes are available at www.speedskating.ca/2018-og/long-track.

Additional details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
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  

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