Labrie & Makowsky retire from speed skating

Vincent Labrie and Mykola Makowsky retire from speed skating

– Speed Skating Canada announced that national team member and Olympian Vincent Labrie and Mykola Makowsky of the development team have retired from competitive international speed skating.

“On behalf of Speed Skating Canada, we would like to wish both Vincent and Mykola all of the best in the next chapter of their lives,” said Sean Ireland, SSC long track program director. “With the same passion, dedication and hard work that they have shown throughout their respective skating careers, I am certain that they will both be very successful in all of their future endeavours.”

Labrie, of Quebec City, was a member of the national and development teams for seven seasons. From 2005-06 to 2011-12, the 29-year-old represented Canada at 32 World Cups, winning a bronze in the 100 metres and posting six top 10 finishes in the 500 metres. At the Torino 2006 Olympics, Labrie placed 29th in the 500 metres. A sprint specialist, he also competed at 2008 and 2010 world sprint championships, as well as the 2008, 2009 and 2011 world single distances championships.

“My career was perhaps not up to my expectations, punctuated, injury, disappointment and success,” said Labrie. “I leave the world of athletes with both the impression of not reaching my potential but having given everything and done everything possible to achieve my goals. While my career may not have been up to my hopes, it was still one for many young athletes to dream of. I will retire taking with me a wealth of extraordinary experiences and great memories of wonderful people I’ve met and supported me during my career.

“I will finish my degree in finance at Laval University next spring and then take extra courses to work as a financial planner,” added Labrie, who currently works at the National Bank.

Makowsky, 27, had been on the development team for five years and named to the 2012-13 squad. The Regina-native took part in four World Cups during the 2009-10 season, and represented Canada at the 2009 FISU University Games. Makowsky has been ranked in Canada in the top of the 1,000- and 1,500-metre distances for the past five seasons, taking more than 20 medals at national competitions during that period.

“I have been fortunate to spend such a large portion of my life doing something that I love to do,” said Makowsky. “Although I did not achieve my ultimate goal of competing at the Olympics for Canada, I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career, right from my first few competitions I ever skated, all the way to competing internationally at World Cups and at the University Games.

“In the last few weeks I was presented with an incredible career opportunity, and after considerable thought, I’ve decided that this opportunity is too much for me to pass up as it will put me on a path to achieve other goals and dreams of mine,” added Makowsky. “Speed skating has taught so much about me and what it takes to be my best. I look forward to using that experience as I move into a full-time career in the field of chemical engineering.”

Starting officially Tuesday, July 3, Makowsky will serve as project engineer with Calgary’s Western Hydrogen Limited. He will be responsible for ensuring that the site for a pilot plant being built near Edmonton is ready for startup in October.