News and background stories

Impressive season for Stefan Groothuis

Sunday, 2 September 2012

With his overall title at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary in January, a world title in the 1000m at the World Single Distances Championships in Heerenveen in March, and some outstanding results at the World Cups throughout the season, Stefan Groothuis looks back on a great season. Results that are even more impressive when you realize he spent the entire 2007-2008 season off the ice after an achilles tendon injury. After a well-deserved vacation, Groothuis reflects on what has been his best season thus far, and looks forward to the pre-Olympic season.

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Patrick Beckert looking forward to ‘final rehearsal’ in Sochi

Saturyday, 25 August 2012

German speed skater Patrick Beckert had quite a successful 2011/2012 season. Coming in 11th in the final rankings for both the 5000m/10k and the mass start, he just failed the top ten, and together with his teammates he finished third in the men’s Team Pursuit ranking.

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First World Cup victory crown on Jamie Gregg’s season

Sunday, 12 August 2012

It has been a good season for Jamie Gregg. He started out with some strong performances, and despite a slightly weaker middle part, he was able to give a good end to his season, with his very first gold medal at a World Cup, in the 500m at the World Cup Finals in Berlin. In between summer training camps, Gregg looks back on his season, in which he not only tasted his first World Cup victory, but also got to skate the World Sprint Championships in front of a home crowd and skated the World Single Distance Championships in Heerenveen.

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Good international debut for young Canadian speed skaters

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Meet Kaylin Irvine and Kali Christ, two youngsters on the Canadian team who both made their debut on the international stage last season. Not only did they earn a spot on the World Cup team for the first time in their careers, but they both qualified for World Championships as well. On top of that, Christ, whose best distances are the 1000m and 1500m, was named Long Track Rising Star by Speed Skating Canada last June. Irvine considers the 1000m to be her best distance, followed by the 500m. Already training hard for the 2012-1013 season, Irvine and Christ look back one more time on the past season, which was a breakthrough one for them.

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Daniel Greig satisfied with past season, despite chronic injury

Thursday, 26 July 2012

With personal bests in the 500m and 1000m, it has been a pretty successful season for Australian speed skater Daniel Greig. But despite these good races, Greig had to face several downs as well, most of them due to his ongoing knee injury. He skated well at World Sprints in Calgary with his first 34s race in the 500m, a national record, but also admits to the fact he could have been sharper at times. Nevertheless, overall he looks back satisfied, and is looking forward to what next season will bring, as is his coach Desly Hill, especially now that both Greig and Hill have recently changed teams, from APPM to Liga.

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Gilmore Junio successful at Fall World Cups

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

It is only his second season on the World Cup circuit as a long track speed skater, but already Gilmore Junio has consistently found his way into the top 10 in the 500m. After racing to some good results at the Canadian Fall World Cup Team Selections last October, including impressive personal bests in the 500m and the 1000m, Junio continued to show his good form in Chelyabinsk, Astana and Heerenveen, where the first three World Cups of the season took place. His best results so far include a 6th-place finish in Astana and a 7th-place finish in Heerenveen. Back home in Calgary, Junio reflects on the first weeks of competition, the Team Sprint and racing against Stefan Groothuis.

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Solid start of season for Denny Morrison

Sunday, 1 January 2012

With several podium finishes at the first World Cups of the season, Denny Morrison gave a good start to the 2011-2012 season. Where the post-Olympic season was disappointing for him due to an admitted lack of training, and as such served as a wake up call, this season was preceded by a good summer, jam-packed with motivated training, which has translated into solid results on the ice so far. With these promising results under his belt, Morrison reflects on the first half of the season and looks forward to what is still to come.

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William Dutton confidently looking forward to second half season

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

His first season on the World Cup circuit did not end well for William Dutton, when he cut his achilles last March. But despite this setback, he was able to get some good summer training under his belt, and with the Fall World Cups of this season down, he can look back on some solid races. Two podium finishes in the B group 500m at the second Fall World Cup in Astana got him promoted to the A group in Heerenveen, where he raced his best 500m of the season thus far. On top of that, he competed in a demo event in Heerenveen, the Team Sprint, in which Canada was represented by two men’s teams and finished 3rd and 4th. With the Canadian Single Distances Championships just around the corner, Dutton reflects on his World Cup races and the Team Sprint, and looks forward to the rest of the season.

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Young Canadians fast at World Cup Trials

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

At the Canadian Fall World Cup Team Selections in Calgary last month, familiar names like Cindy Klassen and Denny Morrison ruled in the middle distances. In the 500m however, the world was in for a few surprises. In the women’s 500m, Anastasia Bucsis (22) claimed victory in both heats, whereas on the men’s side Gilmore Junio (21) skated to a season’s best time in his second 500m. And they both did so in some huge personal bests. Meet Bucsis and Junio, as they look back on that amazing weekend in October and look forward to the Fall World Cups, that are about to kick off this weekend in Chelyabinsk.

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Aussies on ice: Desly Hill

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Australian speed skating is on the rise with athletes like Daniel Greig and Joshua Lose, who both successfully made the transition from inline skating to speed skating on ice. Important for both athletes’ careers and for this crossover was, and still is, their coach Desly Hill. For the third and final part of our series on Australian speed skating, Speedskating-online talked to Hill about Greig and Lose, and about the international group of skaters that seems to benefit so much from Hill’s skills and experience.

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Aussies on ice: Joshua Lose

Friday, 14 October 2011

Australian speed skating is on the rise. In our last feature story, we focused on sprinter Daniel Greig, a former successful inline skater who crossed over to speed skating on ice. In this second part of a three-part story on Australian speed skating, Joshua Lose will be featured. Lose, more of a long distances speed skater than Greig, also was successful as an inline skater before he made the transition to the ice. In 2007, however, he was involved in a car accident that almost ended his career. In this interview, Lose looks back on that dark time and on his past season, and looks forward to the next season and the years leading up to Sochi 2014.

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Aussies on ice: Daniel Greig

Sunday, 9 October 2011

If you thought Australian speed skating is and has always been all about Colin Coates, you’ve either been living under a rock or you need to think again. With the help and support of Desly Hill, former inline skaters Daniel Greig and Joshua Lose successfully switched to long track speed skating a couple of years ago, and now slowly but surely seem to be making their way to the top. Where Greig looks back on an impressive World Sprints in Heerenveen last January with several national records, Lose made a name for himself with his tenth-place finish in the 5000m at the World Single Distances Championships in Inzell last March. So how did these two Australians end up training for actual skating on actual ice, how successful were they as inliners and what terrible accident almost ended Lose’s career? Read all about this and more in this three-part story on Australian speed skating. In this first part, Daniel Greig will be the main focus, Joshua Lose will be featured in part 2, and for part 3 Speedskating-online talked to Desly Hill, their coach.

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WSDC-medalist Lucas Makowsky looking forward to start of season

Saturday, 1 October 2011

After his gold-medal performance in the Team Pursuit at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, Lucas Makowsky was looking for another season to once again improve his results, like he had been over the past couple of years. And even though his past season was off to a rocky start after a foot infection, he did manage to close it off with a bronze medal at the World Single Distances Championships, which was his first individual medal ever at this competition. With the start of the 2011-2012 season just around the corner, Makowsky reflects on his past year and looks forward to what is coming up. Read more

Denny Morrison and Richard MacLennan: summer of 2011 – Part 2

Thursday, 8 September 2011

With the summer closing to an end, Canadian speed skaters are working towards the end of an interesting training period. The roof of the Olympic Oval in Calgary was under repair this spring and summer, forcing the athletes to find other places to get the first on-ice training laps under their belt. After a cycling camp in Penticton, BC, the Canadian sprint team found refuge in Montana first for another cycling camp, and then spent a long time in Salt Lake City for their on-ice training. Denny Morrison and Richard MacLennan, both on the Canadian sprint team, look back on the summer and talk cycling for a change.

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Denny Morrison and Richard MacLennan: summer of 2011 – Part 1

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

This summer has been different from other summers for the Canadian sprint team. Because the roof of the Olympic Oval in Calgary was under repair, they’ve been spending a considerable amount of time in the US; first for cycling camps, and then for on-ice training in Salt Lake City. The Canadian sprint team consists of veterans like Denny Morrison and Jamie Gregg, who have been on the national team for years, and fairly new additions like Richard MacLennan and Gilmore Junio, who look back on their first or second year on the World Cup circuit. Speedskating-online talked to Morrison and MacLennan about their past season, summer training, cycling, and their rookie year.

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First annual Branch Out Bike Tour this weekend in Panorama, BC

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Almost two months ago, on May 1, former long track speed skater Justine L’Heureux and a couple of friends set out on what was to become a heroic bike tour all across Canada. They started out from L’Heureux’ hometown, near Montreal, QC, and are planning to arrive in Panorama, BC shortly before the first annual Branch Out Bike Tour on June 25th, 55 days and 4500 km later. They are doing so to help build more awareness of diseases associated with the neurological system, like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, and to raise as much money as possible for research of these conditions.

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“It’s not going to change the world, but if we can help just a little bit, that will be a success for us!” 

Friday, 29 April 2011 

On June 25 several Canadian speed skaters will participate in the first annual Branch Out Bike Tour to help build more awareness of diseases associated with the neurological system, like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s. Among them will be Justine L’Heureux, runner-up at the Junior World Championships in 2008, but for her the Bike Tour will be the pinnacle of an epic bike trip across Canada to draw attention to neurological diseases, starting on May 1 near Montreal, QC and concluding on June 25 in Panorama, BC for the Bike Tour. L’Heureux is determined to complete this journey to help out her good friend and co-founder of the Branch Out Foundation, speed skater Crystal Phillips, who was diagnosed with MS herself a couple of years ago.

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