Olympic Speed Skater Gold Medalist Lucas Makowsky set to retire

Regina, May 26, 2014 - Two-time Olympian Lucas Makowsky, who was part of Canada’s gold-medal winning men’s team pursuit trio at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, is retiring from long track speed skating.

The 26-year-old Regina, Sask., native, who teamed up with Denny Morrison and Mathieu Giroux in Vancouver, announced his retirement today on his website. He began speed skating at the age of six along with his brother Mykola after his parents suggested it at dinner one evening.

“If I continued to skate, I know my heart wouldn't be in it 100 per cent anymore. And if I'm not 100 per cent committed, it'll be impossible to continue to be the very best that I can," he said.

“Speed skating has never only been about winning medals or setting records. For me, speed skating has always been about the process — about pushing myself to be the very best that I can be. Winning a few medals and setting a few records along the way has just made my career all that much more exciting. I couldn't be more proud of everything I have accomplished out on the ice.”

“Once I realized my heart wouldn't be in it 100 per cent anymore, it became clear to me that it was time to retire.”

“On behalf of Speed Skating Canada’s community, I would like to congratulate and thank Lucas Makowsky for what he brought to the sport through his career”, said Speed Skating Canada’s President, Marie-Claire Rouleau. “The devotion and passion he brought to the sport helped re-write the history of speed skating in Canada with the gold medal quest in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the 2010 Olympic Games. Congratulations Lucas and good luck for your next steps.”

Makowsky also was 13th in the 5000m and 19th in the 1500m in Vancouver. He also skated for Canada in the team’s pursuit and took the 4th spot at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this past winter along with the 1500m, in which he placed 28th.

In Vancouver, Makowsky, Morrison and Giroux set an Olympic record in their quarter-final victory over the defending Olympic champions from Italy and then lowered it again in their semifinal win over Norway. They defeated the United States in the final by 0.21 of a second.

Makowsky debuted on the World Cup scene in 2007 and won a 1500m silver medal in 2009 in Hamar, Norway. He also captured a bronze in the 1500m at the 2011 World Single Distance Championships. He has won six World Cup team pursuit medals — two gold, three silver and a bronze.

While training and competing internationally, Makowsky studied at the University of Calgary and will convocate this June with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics.

“What excites me most now is having an open road ahead of me to be able to invest all of the time, focus, and energy demanded of in speed skating into whatever I choose. There are other things in life that I want to start doing,” he said.

"Some of that time will surely be spent with family and friends, some of it will be spent starting to pursue my professional career as a chemical engineer, and some of it will simply be spent enjoying whatever else life has in store for me.”

To read Lucas Makowsky's retirement blog, visit www.lucasmakowsky.com.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 13,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.
SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC