Some Canadian skaters set to continue to grow, others to compete for one last time at ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal

Montreal, March 14, 2018 – After earning five medals at the Olympic Games held in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Canadian short track speed skating team is looking to repeat its performances, this time at home, at the ISU World Championships set to take place March 16-18 at Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal.
 
Canada will be represented in individual events by Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, and Jamie Macdonald from Fort St. James, B.C., on the women's side, as well as by Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, and Pascal Dion from Montreal on the men's team.
 
These six skaters will all compete in the individual events, i.e. the 500m, the 1000m and the 1500m. After these three events, the top eight skaters per gender in overall standings will have the opportunity to earn additional points by taking part in the 3000m super final to get the World Championship title.
 
Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, Valérie Maltais from Saguenay, QC, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, and François Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, will also be part of the Canadian team, notably for the relay races.
 
After winning three individual medals at her first career Olympic Games, Kim Boutin will try for a repeat performance on Canadian soil.
 
“The goal remains the same at the World Championships than it is at the Olympics,” said Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC. “I don't think I should focus more on results. I need to stick with the same approach in spite of what I achieved at the Games. My goal will therefore be to race as well as I can while focusing first and foremost on my technical and tactical points.”
 
On the men's side, Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, who was crowned Olympic champion in the 1000m distance in PyeongChang, will try to add more medals to his collection after finishing fourth in the 500m and 1500m events held in South Korea.
 
“After winning gold and finishing fourth twice in PyeongChang, I would like to keep going at the same pace and end this extraordinary first Olympic season by finishing in the top-3 overall at the World Championships, like I did last year,” said Samuel Girard, who was third at the 2017 World Championships held in Seoul. “To do so, the key is to be consistent, like I was at the Olympics.”
 
The end for some
On the women's side, Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, has already announced that this weekend's competition will be the last of her career. So far, she has collected 113 medals on the international scene – one at the Olympic Games, 14 at World Championships and 93 on the World Cup circuit.

“It feels strange to realize that this will be my last time out on the ice. I will surely be excited but one thing is clear, I want to enjoy every moment for myself, and I also want to enjoy this precious moment with my girls. Skating has been my passion and my daily routine over three Olympic cycles, so to take part in the World Championships for my last few laps out on the ice in front of my family and my friends, it's a great way to end this chapter of my life. I will give it everything to try and end my career on a good note,” said Marianne St-Gelais, who was second overall at the 2016 and 2017 World Championships.
 
Her veteran teammate over the last several years, François Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, will also retire after this weekend's competition in Montreal.
 
“For 10 years now, I've been proudly representing Canada on the short track speed skating international scene,” said François Hamelin, who won 48 career medals at the international level – one at the Olympic Games, three at World Championships and 38 on the World Cup circuit. “To finish my career in front of my family and friends will surely be an emotional moment for me, but it will also be something that will stay with me for a long time as I hang up my jersey and pass the torch.”
 
His older brother, Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, has for his part decided to go in the opposite direction.
 
“Since I've returned from the Olympics, I feel like I'm in great shape and I've been coming up with new personal bests in training,” said Charles Hamelin. “So I've thought about all that and, today, I'm announcing that I am postponing my retirement and that I've decided to come back for at least another year. I believe I still have something to give to the new generation of skaters, to the sport of short track and to Canada. I'm looking forward to being in the thick of things this weekend, to representing Canada proudly and to contribute to the team's medal haul.”
 
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.
 
Members of the Canadian team at the 2018 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal:

WOMEN
-BOUTIN, Kim (Sherbrooke, QC) – individual distances
-BRADETTE, Kasandra (Saint-Félicien, QC)
-MACDONALD, Jamie (Fort St. James, B.C.) – individual distances
-MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC
-ST-GELAIS, Marianne (Saint-Félicien, QC) ) – individual distances

MEN
-COURNOYER, Charle (Boucherville, QC)
-DION, Pascal (Montréal, QC) ) – individual distances
-GIRARD, Samuel (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC) ) – individual distances
-HAMELIN, Charles (Sainte-Julie, QC) ) – individual distances
-HAMELIN, François (Sainte-Julie, QC)
 
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
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