The Canadian team aims for eight individual medals at the season's first ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held in Calgary

Calgary, November 2, 2016 – Members of the Canadian short track speed skating team will be aiming to collect a minimum of eight individual medals, four on the men's side and four on the women's side, at the 2016-2017 season's first ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held at home, Nov. 4-6, at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

As it kicks off the new season, the Canadian squad will be looking to polish its preparation leading up to the 2017-2018 Olympic year and to improve on the results it earned last season. In 2015-2016, the short track national team tallied 54 medals, i.e. nine at the World Championships, one at the World Junior Championships and 44 on the World Cup circuit. That total of 54 medals earned last season and the nine collected at the World Championships are both team highs since at least the 1999-2000 season. The 44 World Cup podium results are a team high since 2001-2002.


In Calgary, the Canadian women's team will be comprised of Olympic medalists Marianne St-Gelais (Saint-Félicien, QC), Marie-Ève Drolet (Saguenay, QC) and Valérie Maltais (La Baie, QC), as well as of Kasandra Bradette (Saint-Félicien, QC), Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, QC) and Jamie Macdonald (Fort St. James, B.C.).


Marianne St-Gelais will be looking to pick up where she left off last season. This weekend, she will be aiming not only to step on the podium in the 500m and 1000m races, but she will be specifically aspiring to a gold medal in the 500m. Last season, the 26-year-old athlete was crowned world champion in the 1500m in addition to collecting a silver medal in the 500m at the World Championships. The three-time Olympic silver medalist also won 11 medals following the 12 events held over last winter's six World Cup stages, including four gold medals.


Kim Boutin will aim to win medals in the 1000m and 1500m races in Calgary. The 22-year-old skater, who joined the senior national team in 2014-2015, came in second at the Fall World Cup Selections held in September in Montreal, where she won the 1000m event and came up with three second-place results.


Marie-Ève Drolet will be making a comeback at the international level after giving birth to her first child in January of 2015. In Calgary, she will be looking for a spot in the 1500m A final and a top-8 result in the 500m. The bronze medalist in the relay at the 2002 Olympic Games and silver medalist at the 2014 Games finished third in overall standings at the Fall World Cup Selections, as she collected top-5 results in all six of the races slated during the competition.


Kasandra Bradette, a bronze medalist in the 1000m at the 2016 World Championships, will skate in both 500m races scheduled this weekend and will be looking to come up with top-8 results in both events.


Valérie Maltais, who won a silver medal in the women's relay at the 2014 Olympic Games, will be aiming for a spot among the top eight in the first 500m event as well as in the 1000m race.


As for Jamie Macdonald, who moved from British Columbia to Calgary in 2011 to train at the Olympic Oval, will be aiming for a spot in the 1500m A final and a top-8 result in the second 500m event. The 21-year-old skater, who collected a bronze medal on the World Cup circuit last season, finished sixth at the Fall World Cup Selections.


Men's team aims for four medals
On the men's side, Olympic medalists Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, QC), Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, QC) and François Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, QC) will lead the way alongside Samuel Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC), William Preudhomme (Toronto, ON) and Pascal Dion (Montreal, QC).

Charles Hamelin, who holds the world title in the 1000m distance, will skate in the first 500m event as well as in the 1000m.

As for Samuel Girard, who collected a silver medal in the 1000m at last season's World Championships, he will be skating in the first 500m and in the 1000m, as will Charles Hamelin.

Hamelin and Girard are both aiming for spots in the A final for both their events and to win at least one medal – a gold in the case of Girard, who won two of the six races held at the Fall World Cup Selections.

Charle Cournoyer, the bronze medalist in the 500m at the 2014 Olympic Games, will take part in the 1000m and the 1500m and he will be looking to win two medals.

François Hamelin, who won his first ever individual medal at the World Cup level in a 1500m race last winter, will get a chance to add another podium in that distance at this weekend's World Cup. He will also skate in the second 500m event. His goal is to qualify for the A final in both events.

That will also be Pascal Dion's goal, as he will also be taking part in the 1500m and the second 500m race.

William Preudhomme will be in action in both 500m races and he will be looking for two top-8 results.
The list of skaters taking part in the relay races will be decided on each day of the competition.

Members of the Canadian national team for ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage #1 in Calgary

WOMEN
-BOUTIN, Kim (Sherbrooke, QC) – 1000m, 1500m
-BRADETTE, Kasandra (Saint-Félicien, QC) – 500m (1), 500m (2)
-DROLET, Marie-Ève (Saguenay, Chicoutimi borough, QC) – 500 (2), 1500m
-MACDONALD, Jamie (Fort St. James, C.-B.) – 1500m – 500m (2)
-MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC) – 500m (1), 1000m
-ST-GELAIS, Marianne (Saint-Félicien, QC) – 500m (1), 1000m
 
MEN
-COURNOYER, Charle (Boucherville, QC) – 1000m, 1500m
-DION, Pascal (Montréal, Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough, QC), 500m (2), 1500m
-GIRARD, Samuel (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC) – 500m (1), 1000m

-HAMELIN, Charles (Sainte-Julie, QC) – 500m (1), 1000m
-HAMELIN, François (Sainte-Julie, QC) – 500m (2), 1500m
-PREUDHOMME, William (Toronto, ON) – 500m (1), 500m (2)

Des détails supplémentaires sont disponibles sur le site Internet de Patinage de vitesse Canada au  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, and WinSport Canada.

- 30 -

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