Speed Skating Canada introduces its National Team members for the World Junior Short Track Championships

Montreal, January 5, 2016 – Speed Skating Canada is pleased to introduce the National team members who will represent Canada at the World Junior Short Track Championships, January 29-31, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The four men and four women team qualified by being in the top four in the overall ranking following the four events scheduled at the Canadian Junior Championships which was held December 18-20 in Lévis, QC.

The Canadian team will be led by Genève Bélanger (Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough), Alyson Charles (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough) and Maxime Laoun (Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie borough), all from Montreal and who also took part in this competition in the past.

The other members will experience their first World Junior Championships: Danaé Blais from Châteauguay, QC, and Jade Quevillon from Laval, QC, on the women’s side, as well as Marc-Olivier Lemay from Montréal (Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough), Steven Dubois from Lachenaie, QC, and Maxime St-Jules from Saint-Constant, QC, on the men’s side.

Bélanger and Lemay crowned 2015 Canadian Junior champions
By finishing among the top two in the overall ranking at the Canadian Junior Championships, Genève Bélanger and Danaé Blais, as well as Marc-Olivier Lemay and Steven Dubois, ensured their participation in the individual events at the World Junior Championships. The third individual distance positions were accorded to Alyson Charles and Maxime Laoun, who each finished third in the overall ranking.

Bélanger, member of the Short Track National Team, represented Canada at two senior World Cups last season while qualifying for the 2015 World Senior Championships held in Moscow. At the Canadian Junior Championships in Lévis, she won the 1500m and the 1500m Super Final events while taking the third spot in the 1000m to be crowned 2015 women’s Canadian Junior champion. The 18 year-old skater will take part in her fourth World Junior Championships after she skated in the 2012, 2013 and 2015 editions.

Danaé Blais, 16 years old, climbed on the podium in each of the event held at the Canadian Junior Championships: gold in the 1000m, silver in the 500m and bronze in the 1500m, as well as the third position in the 1500m Super Final.

On the men’s side, Marc-Olivier Lemay won two gold medals (1500m and 1000m) as well as a silver in the 500m to win the men’s Canadian junior title. He also finished second in the 1500m Super Final. The 17 years old skater shined last season by winning three medals at the 2015 Canada Games.

Steven Dubois, 17 years old, was also on the podium in each of the events held in Lévis by winning a gold medal in the 500m, silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 1000m.

Alyson Charles and Maxime Laoun will compete in their second consecutives World Junior Championships.

In Lévis, Charles won the 500m event while finishing second in the 1500m Super Final, while Laoun got a silver medal in the 1000m and won the 1500m Super Final.

Maxime St-Jules, bronze medalist in the 1500m and in the 500m, and Jade Quevillon, silver medalist in the 1000m, will complete the Canadian team.

Last year in Osaka, Japan, Audrey Phaneuf was the only Canadian to be on the podium following her silver medal in the 500m. Other than Phaneuf, Canada was also represented by skaters on the National Team for the World Cups last fall: Samuel Girard and Sasha Fathoullin.

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca. 
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. 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.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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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