Q&A MARSHA HUDEY
Hometown: White City, Sask. Birthdate: Aug. 3, 1990
Height/weight: 1.71 m/78 kg Q You finished 32nd in the 500-metre race at your Olympic debut in Sochi. What will you take from that experience heading to Pyeongchang?
A I think for me going into Sochi there was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of unknowns just because it was my first international skating season. So it was an exciting year, a big year. It was awesome and amazing, but I didn’t really know how to handle a lot of things yet. ... So I think the biggest thing I’ll take away from Sochi into these next Games is just experience. Knowing better who I am — as a person and as an athlete — and knowing how I handle things.
Q Can you explain for people who don’t know what the difference is between the Olympics and, say, a World Cup?
A ...There’s so much more excitement and hype around the Olympics. In reality, it’s not different from a World Cup and it’s still a 400-metre track that I’m skating on, but there’s a lot more stimulus. There’s a lot more going on and things happening.
Q Is it hard to shut that out as an athlete?
A I think you just have to have a game plan for yourself set in place with all that stuff. The most important thing is sticking to your plan. It can be a distraction, but I think it’s something you just
have to choose.
Q You’ve gradually risen up the rankings, to fourth in the world at 500 metres.
How competitive is the distance and how close are you to breaking into the top three?
A It’s a pretty competitive field. You’re talking hundredths of seconds between first and 15th or 20th. It’s close, everybody’s very close. I’m very close to cracking the podium and I have been several times this year. Sometimes it’s a matter of just like, “Oh, had I just stuck my tongue out at the line or something,” you know? But, yeah, it’s close.