Team Canada named for 2012 World Single Distances Championships

Team Canada named for 2012 World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships

– Speed Skating Canada announced today the seven men and eight women to represent Canada at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, from March 22 to 25.

The men are represented by Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg, Lucas Makowsky of Regina, Denny Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., and Quebec City’s Muncef Ouardi.

The eight women participating are Calgary’s Anastasia Bucsis and Kaylin Irvine, Kali Christ of Regina, Nicole Garrido of Edmonton, Christine Nesbitt, London, Ont., and Winnipeggers Cindy Klassen, Shannon Rempel and Brittany Schussler.

Leading the 15-skater team is 2011-12 Grand World Cup champion Christine Nesbitt, who also won the season 1,000 and 1,500 World Cup titles. Nesbitt is the defending 1,000-metre champion and Makowsky won a bronze medal in the 1,500 metres in 2011.

The team includes 10 veteran skaters of the World Single Distances Championships. Belchos, Christ, Dubreuil, Garrido and Irvine are participating in their first championship.

Both Klassen and Rempel will be taking part in their eighth world single distance championships. Klassen, 32, has won two gold medals, a silver and three bronze. On the men’s side, Morrison is competing in his fourth championship, winning one gold medal, a silver and two bronze.

Since 1996, Canada has collected 56 medals: 15 gold medals (six men; nine women), 14 silver (7; 7) and 27 bronze (10; 17).

The final championship of the season opens on Thursday with the men’s 1,500 metres and women’s 3,000 metres. On Friday, the men will skate the 1,000 and 5,000 metres, and the 1,500 metres for the women. The women have two races on Saturday, the 1,000- and 5,000-metre distances, and the men have one race, the 10,000 metres. The season wraps-up on Sunday with the two 500-metre races and team pursuit.

Additional information:
- Team guide: Team and athlete information is available in this team guide (PDF).
- Results: ISU results website will update the races as they happen.
- Updates: SSC will also use its Twitter account,, for updates. Also note the athlete’s individual Twitter account with their bios.
- News releases: SSC will distribute a summary news release after all the races of the day are completed.
- Quotes: Audio (MP3 format) from athletes will be available on the SSC website with links on the news release.