The chase for Olympic spots in Long Track Speed Skating continues this weekend in Norway

Stavanger, Norway, November 15, 2017 – Following a strong performance highlighted by seven medals last weekend in the Netherlands, the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating team is in Stavanger, Norway, this weekend, November 17-19, for the second ISU World Cup of the season.
 
In Stavanger, two 500m races as well as 1000m, 1500m and Team Sprint events will be held both for the women and the men, as well as a women’s 5000m and a men’s 10,000m.
 
After collecting two individual medals and prequalifying for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in the 3000m last weekend, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, ON, will aim to consolidate her spot in PyeongChang in the 5000m.
 
Winner of a bronze medal in the 5000m distance at the 2017 ISU World Single Distance Championships, Blondin could prequalify directly for the Olympics in this event by winning another medal at one of the four World Cups to be held this fall, as long as Canada qualifies at least one spot in that distance.
 
"Coming off of last weekend, I feel really confident going into the next World Cup”, said Blondin. “I’m really looking forward to racing here as I’m feeling stronger and stronger each day. I’m also looking forward to seeing how our entire team will perform. I think it’s going to be another solid weekend for Canada.”
 
Like Blondin, Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, could prequalify in the 1000m. Last week, he took the fifth spot in this distance after winning a silver medal in the 1500m.
 
Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, AB, the 10,000m World Record holder, will take part in his first race in this distance this season after winning a silver medal in the 5000m last weekend.
 
“Obviously, for the rest of the season, I want more, said Bloemen following his podium last week. I want to be able to win the race. I'm really looking forward to a good fight in the 10,000m this week.”
 
Graeme Fish of Moose Jaw, SK, will take part in his first-ever World Cup as he will be skating in the 10,000m.
 
Also on the men’s side, after respectively winning a gold medal in the 500m and silver in the 1500m in Heerenveen last weekend, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, and Vincent De Haître will aim to consolidate their spot among the top five overall in the world to prequalify for PyeongChang.
 
As stated in Speed Skating Canada’s 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes, any athlete who wins a medal in an individual event at a World Cup this Fall and who finishes among the top five based on the Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC) based on points following the first four World Cups will prequalify for PyeongChang in this event, under some conditions, including that Canada qualifies at least one spot in this event.
 
The SOQC is a ranking which will be posted by the International Skating Union (ISU) following the four Fall World Cups, and that will determine allocated spots per country in each individual distance for the Olympic Games.
 
This weekend's World Cup will start on Friday with the first 500m and the 1000m. Saturday, the second 500m and the 1500m are scheduled while on Sunday, the men’s 10,000m, women’s 5000m and team sprint events will be held.
 
The races will be webstreamed live on the CBC Sports (http://www.cbc.ca/sports) and Radio-Canada Sports (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/) websites.
 
Qualify Olympic spots for Canada
First and foremost, the 22 skaters in action will aim to qualify the maximum number of spots per event at the Olympic Games, i.e. three in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m, two in the women’s 5000m, men’s 10,000m and mass start, as well as one per gender in team pursuit.

Following the Fall World Cups, the ISU will publish the SOQC which will determine allocated spots per country in each individual distance for the Olympic Games. Most of the spot allocations will be based on overall World Cup ranking and the rest, on times.

A maximum of 10 athletes per gender can be selected to the Olympic Team. Athletes will be selected based on achieving the performance standard for the event and on earning the quota spot.

The Canadian team will fill the rest of its roster at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections, which will be held January 4-9 at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.

The full 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes are available at www.speedskating.ca/2018-og/.
 
More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.
 
Canadian Team for the ISU World Cup in Stavanger, in Norway:
-BELCHOS, Jordan (Markham, ON) – 10,000m
-BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 10,000m
-BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) - 1500m, 5000m
-BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC) - 500m
-CHRIST, Kali (Regina, SK) – 1000m, 1500m
-DE HAÎTRE, Vincent (Cumberland, ON) - 1000m, 1500m, Team Sprint
-DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) - 500m, Team Sprint
-DUTTON, William (Humboldt, SK) - 500m
-FISH, Graeme (Moose Jaw, SK) – 10,000m
-GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC) - 1500m
-HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK) - 500m, Team Sprint
-IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB) - 500m, 1000m, Team Sprint
-JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB) – 500m, Team Sprint
-LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC) – 1000m, 1500m
-McLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB) - 500m, Team Sprint
-MORRISON, Denny (Fort St. John, B.C.) – 1000m, 1500m
-SPENCE, Victoria (Kamloops, B.C.) – 5000m
-ST-JEAN, Alexandre (Quebec City, QC) – 500m, 1000m
-TUTT, Brianne (Airdrie, AB) - 1000m, 1500m
-WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON) - 1500m, 5000m

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