Canada Names Long Track Team for ISU World Cup Circuit

Eleven skaters, including eight Olympians, kick-off the season next weekend in Japan 

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Speed Skating Canada is pleased to announce the long track skaters nominated to represent Canada at this season’s ISU World Cups. A total of 11 skaters will travel to Japan later this month and compete in Obihiro from November 16-18 and in Tomakoma November 23-25. They will be joined by five additional skaters in December for events in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland and Heerenveen, Netherlands.

The Canadian long track team for these first two competitions in Japan will feature eight Olympians and a trio of national team members who will compete in the second World Cup circuit of their careers. Together they will look to build upon last year’s successful international campaign in which Canada won two Olympic medals, three World Championship medals and 24 World Cup medals.

The men’s group is comprised of Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, AB), Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON), Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, QC), Christopher Fiola (Montreal, QC), Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, QC) and David La Rue (Saint-Lambert, QC).

Bloemen, the reigning Olympic champion in the 10,000m and silver medalist in the 5000m, will look to remain atop the podium. He finished last season as the World Cup’s top ranked long-distance skater, earning one gold, three silver and one bronze on the circuit in 2017-2018. He will be joined by a pair of 2018 Olympic teammates in Belchos, who finished fifth in the 10,000m in PyeongChang, and Dubreil, who helped Canada claim two Team Sprint gold medals on the World Cup stage last season.

Gélinas-Beaulieu and La Rue will each participate in the second World Cup season of their careers. Fiola, who skated Mass Start last season and individual distances two seasons ago, will make his thrid trip overseas, while La Rue, who won a pair of medals at the World Junior Championship last year, will make the full-time jump to the senior ranks.

The women’s team includes Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, ON), Kaylin Irvine (Calgary, AB), Heather McLean (Winnipeg, MB), Keri Morrison (Burlington, ON) and Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON).

Blondin, a two-time Olympian and winner of six World Cup medals last season, leads an experienced group of skaters, each of whom participated in the 2018 PyeongChang Games. She is joined by Irvine, who helped Canada win bronze in the Team Sprint last year in Norway, as well as McLean, Morrison and Weidemann.

After leading the way with three national titles (3000m, 5000m, Mass Start) at last month’s Canadian Single Distance Championship, Weidemann will look to continue her early season success on the international stage.

Six additional skaters will join the core group for the following first two World Cups in Japan.

Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, QC), Marsha Hudey (White City, SK), Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, QC), Graeme Fish (Moose Jaw, SK) and Gilmore Junio (Calgary, AB) will compete from December 7-9 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland and from December 14-16 in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, QC) will also join the team in the Netherlands.

Maltais, a three-time Olympian in short track, will make her first long track World Cup appearance less than a year after transitioning from short track. She will be joined by fellow Olympians Hudey, Junio and Boisvert-Lacroix, as well as World Cup rookie Fish. Jean, the country’s top ranked Mass Start skater over the past two seasons, will compete in that discipline at the final World Cup of the calendar year.

In addition to the senior circuit, Canada will also be represented by six NextGen skaters at the Neo-Senior World Cup, which takes place from November 24-25 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. Beatrice Lamarche (Quebec City, QC), Abigail McCluskey (Calgary, AB), Noemie Fiset (Quebec City, QC), Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, MB), Hayden Mayeur (Toronto, ON) and Jake Weidemann (Ottawa, ON).

The skaters representing Canada on the international stage this season earned their spot on the team based either on their results from last season or their results at last month’s 2018 Canadian Single Distance Championships in Calgary, Alberta.

Please see below the full list of athletes, in alphabetical order by last name, named to the team. A biography of each athlete can be found at www.speedskating.ca/teams/long-track

Ladies Team

  • BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON)
  • IRVINE, Kaylin  (Calgary, AB)
  • MCLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB)
  • MORRISON, Keri (Burlington, ON)
  • WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON)

Joining the team for World Cup #3 and #4

  • HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK)
  • MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, QC)

 Men’s Team

  • BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON)
  • BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB)
  • DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC)
  • FIOLA, Christopher (Montreal, QC)
  • GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC)
  • LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC)

Joining the team for World Cup #3 and #4

  • BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC)
  • FISH, Graeme (Moose Jaw, SK)
  • JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB)

Joining the team for World Cup #4

  • JEAN, Olivier (Lachenaie, QC)