Speed Skater Vincent De Haître Breaks National Track Cycling Record at Tokyo 2020

De Haître also holds the Canadian long track speed skating record in the 1000m 

TOKYO, JAPAN - Vincent de Haître completed the first part of his extraordinary 180-day quest this week. The Canadian star successfully competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in track cycling – and will now head into training as a speed skater, aiming to appear at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in just seven months’ time.

He wasn’t in Japan to just make up the numbers, either: De Haître, alongside teammates Jay Lamoureux, Michael Foley and Derek Gee, broke the Canadian national record in the Team Pursuit at the Izu Veledrome.

The quartet finished a highly respectable 5th overall, defeating a powerful Germany side in the 5-6 final, and clocking a national best of 3:46:324 in the process. It was the best performance for Canadian men in the event in 89 years.

“I’m pretty happy, we are using everyone to the best of their abilities, and the plan worked out well,” he said after the race. 

27-year-old De Haître told ISU.org in an exclusive interview before Tokyo that he will only have a couple of rest days after getting home before hitting the ice to get in shape for Beijing.

He confirmed this in Tokyo. “I’m back to being a Speed Skater now, and the goal is Beijing,” said De Haître post-race. “We’ve been fighting for it. During the pandemic I was doing 50 per cent cycling, 50 per cent Speed Skating, and going between the two national training centres.

“Now I fly home and in five days I’ll be back on the ice for my first session. I’ll do physio and get my body ready, but then it is back to it, because the Olympic trials are in eight or nine weeks.

“I’m aiming at 1000m and 1500m, if I don’t qualify straight away I’ll go for the skate off in January. But if it doesn’t happen, I am aiming to compete until 2026, so you’re going to see a lot more of me.

“In skating I have good one lap pace, and now I need to add one and two more laps for 1000m and 1500m.”

The physical demands of such a training regime are extreme. “It’s almost impossible, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, especially during a pandemic,” said De Haître. “I do it because I can. It’s a challenge. I still have the national record in 1000m in both cycling and Speed Skating, so I know what I can do as an athlete, I just need to prove it to everyone else.”

But which sport does he prefer? “That’s a good question,” said De Haître. “But the answer is probably whichever one I’m currently doing.”


SOURCE: International Skating Union