Canadian Speed Skaters to Celebrate Olympic Anniversary at Essent ISU World Allround Championships in Calgary

– Christine Nesbitt to Mark Anniversary of Olympic Gold in Front of Home Crowd at Calgary Olympic Oval –

Canadian Olympic champion Christine Nesbitt is looking forward to the one-year anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games as she reflects on winning her gold medal and makes plans to step on the podium at the Essent ISU World Allround Championships, February 12 and 13, 2011 at the Calgary Olympic Oval.

“It is hard to believe it will soon be one-year since the Vancouver Olympics,” says Nesbitt, who won gold in the 1,000 metres on day six of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. “I was a little shocked after I won, it really wasn’t my best race so it was hard for me to believe I had won the gold medal.”

Canada sent a team of sixteen speed skaters to the Vancouver Games and seven Canadian athletes will compete at the Olympic Oval next week in international allround competition, including 2010 gold medalists Nesbitt, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux and 2006 Olympic medalists Justin Warsylewicz, Cindy Klassen and Brittany Schussler. Rookie Ivanie Blondin will complete the team who will be available for a press conference on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 1pm at the Olympic Oval, ice level.

“When I look back on the experience now, I am proud. It is something that I will have forever; that I was the Olympic champion,” added Nesbitt, now 26. “I am looking forward to the World Allrounds at the Oval, my home track. My main objective this season was to medal at all three World Championships. Now that I did at the World Sprint Championships, I am hoping to reach the podium at the Allround Championships; I know it is ambitious, but I have been skating really well this season in both sprint and longer distances, so I think I can do it.”

Since winning her Olympic gold, Nesbitt has dominated the 2010-2011 season, winning nine World Cup gold medals and capturing the World Sprint Championship title.

Giroux and Makowsky earned their Vancouver Olympic gold medals in the team pursuit event with Denny Morrison, who will be a substitute for February 12 and 13.

“Not since the Games have I raced in front of a home crowd. This will be the first international competition for me back in Canada,” said Makowsky. “The crowd in Vancouver was amazing and helped to keep all three of us motivated. I am sure the home crowd in Calgary will help us again.”

48 speed skaters representing 15 countries will race in the 500m, 1500m, 3000m (ladies only), 5000m and 10000m (men only) metres to win the men’s and ladies World Allround Championship titles.

The Essent ISU World Allround Championships will be the only chance to see Canada’s Olympic speed skating champions in international competition in Canada this season. Advance premium tickets are available at Rush seating tickets are available at the door.