Giroux, SSC develop terms of agreement

Mathieu Giroux and Speed Skating Canada develop terms of agreement for national team status

– Following a second face-to-face meeting last Friday (Dec. 21) and many discussions, Speed Skating Canada and Mathieu Giroux have developed a plan allowing Mathieu to maintain his national team status while pursuing his university program.

"I'm pleased with the outcome of these discussion over the past two weeks," said Giroux, who arrived in Calgary on Thursday in preparation for the Canadian Single Distances Championships, Jan. 3 to 6. "With my national team status reinstated, I will now be able to focus on the positive aspects of my preparation for the upcoming Olympics and optimize my training."

Giroux met Friday with SSC's president Marie-Claire Rouleau, Jean-François Monette, athletes' director on the SSC board, and Mark Mathies, SSC executive director of sport.

Following a further review from the high performance committee for long track, and willingness shown by the University of Montreal to provide greater flexibility to Mathieu, a revised training plan has been developed that would meet with national team requirements while allowing the Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold-medallist to maintain his academic requirements at the University of Montreal.

"Both sides came to an understanding and openness to the uniqueness of this situation," said Rouleau. "I believe that Mathieu understands the rigour and preparation necessary for the Olympic Games in Sochi."

"With the University of Montreal's contribution to the process over the past few days, Mathieu was able to compliment his training program, leading to an acceptable solution for all," noted Monette. "We appreciate that Mathieu's academic advisors also understand what it takes for an Olympic athlete to achieve the highest goals."

"The (SSC) high performance committee is pleased with the results of the discussions with Mathieu," said committee chair, Gregg Planert. "Everyone can now focus on the Canadian Single Distances Championships, which begin next Thursday (Jan. 3) in Calgary with the men's 1,500 metres and women's 3,000 metres."