Two-time Olympian François-Olivier Roberge Bids Farewell to Speed Skating

After a 5 year career on Speed Skating Canada’s (SSC) long track speed skating national team, two-time olympian François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) announced today that he was officially retiring from competitive speed skating.

Roberge, who just turned 25, started speed skating at the age of 8, and his first international competition was the World Junior Championship in 2002. He was only 16 years old, and that is when he realised he wanted to make a career out of skating. He went on to skate in two more Junior World Championships, winning three silver medals. The highlights of his career were definitely his two participation at the Olympic Winter Games (Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010), where he ranked in the top-20 both times. He also skated in three World Single Distance Championships, including a 7th place finish in the 1500m in 2007, and numerous World Cup events.

François-Olivier Roberge was a leader within SSC’s Québec training centre for long track speed skating. He was defined by his ethics and dedication in training, along with his positive attitude on and off the ice.

“François-Olivier had a wonderful career,” noted his long time coach Robert Tremblay. “He is an athlete who always has a positive attitude, his intensity in training has inspired many of his teammates. I have lived many great things through him in competition. We will miss him a lot, but he knows he is welcomed at any time. He is very much appreciated by everyone here and I am confident he will achieve great things in other areas of his life.”

While pursuing his speed skating career at the Gaétan-Boucher Oval, the athlete was also focusing on studies. He is currently working on a Communications Degree from Laval University, and was recipient of SSC’s Peter Williamson Bursary for athletic and academic excellence this year.

Roberge took the summer to train and think about his future, before making his retirement official. He wishes to focus on his studies, as he has two years left to complete his degree and he wishes to do them full-time.

“I want to thank SSC, the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec, my coaches and my teammates for their support through all those years,” explained Roberge. “After two Olympics and 3 World Championships, I leave with my head held high and full of memories. Speed skating has been a huge part of my life, and it helped define me as a person.”

Speed Skating Canada joins François-Olivier’s former teammates to thank him for his exceptional contribution throughout the years and to wish him the best with his new endeavours.