After Taking Home Five Olympic Medals François-Louis Tremblay, Québec’s* most decorated Olympic athlete, retires from competition

After Taking Home Five Olympic Medals François-Louis Tremblay, Québec’s* most decorated Olympic athlete, retires from competition

*with Marc Gagnon

Montréal, September 19, 2013 – After competing in three Olympics and over a decade of outstanding performances on ice rinks in the four corners of the world, François-Louis Tremblay, one of Canada’s most decorated athletes in winter sport, is retiring from competition. Tremblay, who will turn 33 in November, will bring his career to a close to concentrate on his studies in administration and his professional career.

Although hoping to earn a 6th Olympic medal in Sochi, thus becoming THE most decorated male athlete in Canadian winter sports, Tremblay did not make the Olympic team for the upcoming Games. “Flou”, as he is known, ranked sixth on a cumulative basis during the selection at the Maurice-Richard Arena in August which included his two best races, 500 and 1,000 metres.

“Although I am at peace with my decision,” said Tremblay, “I still find it hard to imagine my life without skating, training, competing - the whole lifestyle that comes with being an Olympian. But I know I made the right decision. I did not see myself continuing without competing in the Sochi Olympics – it was my ultimate goal. I fought ‘til the very end, but some circumstances in the races played against me. I did my best, but with only 5 skaters earning a place on the Olympic team, I didn’t make the cut.” I will certainly feel a little more emotion at the opening of the Games in Sochi, and I will be excited for my former teammates. One thing is sure: since the decisions have come down, I have been doing a lot of reflecting, and I can say that I had a great career. I am proud of the choices I made and what I accomplished. I’m ready for the real world.”

“Speed Skating Canada and more specifically the short-track program are very grateful for the contributions made by François-Louis over the past 13 years, both as an athlete whose preparation was always impeccable, and as a man committed to his team and his sport. As a person, “Flou” always inspired his team with his professionalism, his loyalty and his ability to speak honestly, with respect. He may leave the ice and the locker room, but François-Louis Tremblay has left a permanent mark on the team, explained Yves Hamelin, Director of the short-track program at Speed Skating Canada.

“François-Louis is the model of determination and achievement for young skaters and Quebec athletes. He is also proof of the success of our sport system. Beginning his career in a local club, then progressing to the Quebec training centre and finally arriving at the National training centre, François-Louis rose through the ranks to become one of our great champions. Looking at his career, earning 5 Olympic medals and several world honours, other athletes, coaches, sport administrators and volunteers have a reason to believe that anything is possible when you put your mind and your heart to it. Hats off to him!” said CEO of the Quebec Speed Skating Federation, Robert Dubreuil.

Speed Skating Canada and the Fédération québécoise de patinage de vitesse will honour this athlete and pay tribute to his career and accomplishments in the near future. Details will be forthcoming about this homage.

About François-Louis

François-Louis began skating in Alma, in the Saguenay region, at age four, following in the footsteps of his brother, with whom he skated for several years. A passionate guitarist, he had the opportunity to play with the likes of Karkwa and Tom Cochrane. Follow François-Louis: @fltremblay (Twitter).

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