Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - SPORTS -

Sport: Speedskating

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.

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