Winnipeg’s Stefan Waples retires from competitive speed skating

Winnipeg, May 25, 2018 – Former Speed Skating Canada’s National Long Track Speed Skating Team member Stefan Waples of Winnipeg, MB, announced his retirement from competition.

Waples, age 31, most notably took part in the 2016 ISU World Single Distance Championships in Kolomna, Russia, in the 1500m event where he placed 18th.

As part of the National Program from 2011 to 2017, Waples competed in a total of nine ISU World Cup competitions as well as the 2012 ISU World Allround Championships in Moscow, Russia, where he finished 19th overall. He made his international debut in 2011 when he skated the 10,000m at the ISU World Cup in Heerenveen. He was also part of the Team Pursuit squad from 2011 to 2016 where he achieved his highest World Cup ranking of fifth.

“I was ready for a new challenge,” explained Stefan Waples, who is currently in British Columbia fighting forest fires. “I’ve had a lot of fun skating for so many years and felt I still had a few more good years left in me. But mentally, I was ready to try and find something different and exciting.”

“On behalf of Speed Skating Canada, I would like to thank and congratulate Stefan Waples not only for his performances on the ice, but also for his contribution to the sport as an athlete representative,” said Speed Skating Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Susan Auch. “Congratulations again and good luck in your next endeavour!”

As a high performance athlete, Waples enjoyed the commitment and pursuit of excellence.

“I had the opportunity to live a very dedicated, focused life for over ten years doing everything I could to give me the best chance possible of achieving my goals. I learned a lot about myself, how much I can endure and for how long, what kind of balance I need to achieve to be the best version of myself, and what motivates me. These are just a few of things I get to walk away with. I also get to walk away with an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I was able to represent Canada and travel around the world, consistently challenging myself. I was able to dedicate myself to my own improvement for over a decade with very few distractions and I got to see how good I could be at something with undivided focus,” explained Waples.

One of Waples' most important contributions to the sport was as the Speed Skating Canada National Program Athlete Representative from 2015 until the present time.

“I get to walk away knowing the contribution I gave to my sport. I made so many athletes better over my career. As a skater representative, I effected personnel changes, culture shifts, and financial decisions that benefited my sport,” said Waples.

“There’s just too many people to single out to thank: coaches, teammates, support staff, friends and of course the sponsors were incredible and allowed me to go as long as I did. But I'm thankful for my time in sport and all the people I was able to cross paths with. The connections are going to be the biggest difficulty moving forward for me, without a doubt,” confessed Waples, who will look this fall to resume his studies and begin a new degree with the goal of becoming a registered dietician.

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

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:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
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