Hamelin to lead Canada’s 2018 short-track team

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS - The CaNa­DiaN press

moN­treal Three-time Olympic gold medal­list Charles Hamelin will lead a vet­eran Cana­dian short-track speed­skat­ing team to the 2018 Win­ter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The na­tive of Sainte-Julie, Que., is one of 10 ath­letes and two coaches pro­vi­sion­ally se­lected to Canada’s team, the Cana­dian Olympic Com­mit­tee and Speed Skat­ing Canada an­nounced in a joint re­lease Wed­nes­day.

Hamelin, who has also won 10 world cham­pi­onship gold medals over his dec­o­rated ca­reer, topped the podium in the men’s 500 me­tres and helped Canada win the men’s 5,000-me­tre re­lay at the 2010 Van­cou­ver Games.

Hamelin, who fin­ished first in the 1,500 me­tres four years later in Sochi, Rus­sia, said the ad­di­tion of his part­ner, Marianne StGe­lais, and his brother Fran­cois to the team Wed­nes­day will al­low him to ful­fil his dream of skat­ing with them at the Olympics once more.

“It’s dif­fi­cult hop­ing for that be­cause there are so many im­pon­der­ables,” said the 33-yearold.

“Marianne got in­jured along the way but for­tu­nately she had a life­line with the dis­cre­tionary pick. So, to have them with me for my third con­sec­u­tive Games will be a lovely page of his­tory. It will end the book in such in­cred­i­ble fash­ion.”

Be­sides the Hamelins, the ath­letes on the team are: Kim Boutin (Sher­brooke, Que.); Kasan­dra Bradette (Saint-Feli­cien, Que.); Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, Que.); Pas­cal Dion (Mon­treal); Sa­muel Gi­rard (Fer­land-et-Boil­leau, Que.); Jamie Macdonald (Fort St. James, B.C.); Va­lerie Mal­tais (La Baie, Que.); and St-Gelais (Saint-Feli­cien).

Most of the skaters were se­lected fol­low­ing the 2018 short track team se­lec­tions held Aug. 12-20 in Mon­treal, while four were added Wed­nes­day.

“It will be an hon­our for me not only to rep­re­sent Canada at my first Olympic Games, but also to com­pete along­side veter­ans like Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais,” Gi­rard said.

“They will def­i­nitely be an in­spi­ra­tion for me head­ing to Pyeongchang, where I hope to prove that the next gen­er­a­tion of skaters are ready to take the torch and repli­cate per­for­mances from the 2018 short track team se­lec­tions.”

Fred­eric Black­burn (Sague­nay, Que.) and Der­rick Camp­bell (Cam­bridge, Ont.) were named head coaches of the women’s and men’s teams, re­spec­tively.

Canada has won 28 short-track speed­skat­ing medals since its of­fi­cial de­but at the 1992 Al­bertville Games.

Camp­bell de­scribed the team as a “good mix.”

“We’ve got some veter­ans who are still there and they bring that ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship to the group,” he said.

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