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Weekly Update #16

This week’s blog is brought to you by…

Laps: We did more laps this week than the week before. 700 something to be sort of exact. And we did it in less practices.

Replacement Rinks: We were treated to a little involuntary field trip for our Thursday and Friday ice sessions due to a figure skating competition at Maurice Richard Arena

Frozen toes and fingers: Due to spending time in said replacement rinks, which was very, very cold. But who am I to complain. I got to skate!

Movember: My Movember moustache growing season continues. So far, I’m pretty pumped on this one. Just a bit over half-way and its pretty full. If you’d like to make a donation to support Prostate Cancer  research, check out my mospace page at: Thanks to Jess, my Mum and our Nutritionist Catherine Naulleau for their donations!

Winter sport season: As a fan of fringe (to the majority of the world) sports, I’m pretty pumped that cross country skiing, biathlon, long track, alpine skiing and most other winter sports are getting their seasons under way. Streaming Sundays are back!

Next weeks blog will be from Nagoya, Japan. We’re hitting the road next weekend for World Cup’s 3 and 4.



Weekly Update #15 Volume and Remembrance Day

This past week was a big one for us. With only a few weeks between the end of World Cup 2 and our departure for Asia and the next World Cups, we need to take full advantage of our time at home to put in some big training. And we have. Laps on laps on laps was the theme of the week.

Personally, I always like these types of weeks. It gives lots of time to work on technique while the pace isn’t too quick. I also get to experience one of my favourite feelings in sport. I’m talking about that moment when your lungs are burning and your legs are screaming but somehow you fall into a rhythm and it seems like you could keep going forever. Which you can’t, obviously, but you just keep ticking off the laps and making the coach’s lap times until the set is over. Its an amazing feeling, and an addictive one.

At the end of the week, following one of those days that I was talking about above, we (the national team) had the fortune of participating in a great event with some future Canadian short track speed skating stars thanks to Samsung Canada and their Hope for Children program. Samsung ran a contest that gave winners the oppourtunity to come out and skate with us for the day. All of the kids were super excited and ready to learn and meet us, and we were pumped to hang out with them and pass on some pointers.

Group shot at the end of a great event!

It was a lot of fun and I even got to get on the microphone and announced a relay race between some skaters, media and special guests. I think I did alright, but only thanks to years of listening to Dany Lemay, short track announcer extraordinaire!


I ended the week by attending Montreal’s Remembrance Day service. I have always considered it very important to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony, or at least observe a moment of silence in honour of all those who have put their lives on the line for what we all value so much and so often take for granted. The majority of the years, it seems I have been on the ice for 11am and we have had to observe our moment of silence on the ice. But this year, with the 11th falling on a sunday, our day off, I was able to make it down to the service.

While it is obviously very important to continue to remember our veterans, especially as we continue to lose veterans of wars past to father time each and every year, I had a new realization this year. While I have attended Remembrance Day ceremonies in both Yellowknife and Calgary, I have never attended one with a real, live, 21 gun salute. The spot we were standing at was maybe 50m away from the artillery pieces that were performing the salute and it gave me a new perspective on war that I had not, and hope not, to experience. The shear noise, violence and concussion of a shell being fired was something to experience. The whole crowd jumped each time, kids were crying and many were seen covering their ears. And this was only from a blank shell being fired. No explosion of the shell, no damage, no fire, no death. I can only imagine what an hours long barrage feels like going off and the damage and fear it rains down on those on the receiving end. It was a true eye opener for me, and not having to experience this in my life is just one more reason on top of many to be thankful for those that have served our country.


Weekly Update #14 World Cup Recap

The first block of World Cups is now done. Sunday, we finished up two weekends of World Cup action in Canada, and it was a great two weekends for several reasons.

First of all it was great because I had some good early season results. The first weekend in Calgary I had a 2nd place in the 1000m to go with m DQ in the 1500m (oops!). Being on the podium in the first weekend of racing was a good feeling, especially since it was my first international race since December of 2011 due to my fractured shoulder. I was quite satisfied with the final especially, as I was among some pretty heavy company. All three of the other skaters in my race had been World Champion at one point. In fact, those three guys have 8 World Championships between them.

From a team perspective, our relay team, me included, went out and beat the World Record on the first day of competition. We always target the relay and it was awesome to get the record back from the Koreans. Unfortunately I fell in the final, which put a bit of a dampen on our spirits, but we were happy to have taken the record and are looking forward to receiving our Brothers of the Wind World Record rings!

I also had good individual results this past weekend here in Montreal. I managed to make the A final for both distances that I skated, which I believe is a first for me. I ended up coming away with a 2nd in the 500 and a 5th in the 1500. I think the highlight of those two races was the fact that the hard work and time I have been investing in my starts from day one of this season is paying off. It was special to be on the podium with my good friend and long time teammate Liam Mcfarlane. We’ve been training together since 2005 and have been through a lot in skating together.

So far this season I have been in an A final in every distance. Consistency is one thing that the best skaters in the world have and I hope that I can keep that consistency across all distances going.

The second thing that made these two weekends great was racing at home. And by home I mean where I always train or have trained (as is the case for Calgary). Don’t worry, Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories will always be my home! I was literally floating the entire week we were in Calgary. I love going back there. Its so much fun to walk the Oval and say hi to literally every second person. Seeing so many athletes from different places and sports all in the same place, all pushing their limits and striving to be the best is what makes the Oval a special place to train.

It also felt like home because I had so many people that came out to cheer me on. I don’t think I’ve ever had my own cheering section, but on the sunday I did. Thanks to my parents and sister, Keith, Sarah, Thompy, Brendan and Rosanna, Linda and Blair, Jim and Jo-ann, Dan and Tara, Shane, Karin and Hannah, Laini and Emily, Ben, Fran and anyone I’m forgetting for coming out. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it up to the stands to say hi to all of you!

Montreal was almost the same too. Our Canadian team took advantage of tough ice conditions that we know so well to achieve 12 podium performances, which is a record haul for us! Again, we had great crowd support, me included. My Dad made the trip out and I had Jess, Michele and Kirstin in my corner all week! It was pretty interesting waking up in your own bed and heading to the same rink I go to everyday, only to find out that a World Cup was taking place.

This post is getting a little long, but I can’t finish without a shout out to the Olympic Oval ice makers. Those guys are absolute masters of their art. The ice in Calgary was unbelievably fast this weekend and they have the World records to prove it. Its the fastest ice in the world and the Short Track record books were rewritten. Thanks guys, you’re doing a great job!

Thanks to Oakley Canada for the new glasses and to our team sponsor Auclair for the new gloves!

We recently installed new contrast bathes at our training center. Our team sponsor Intact decided to give us new bath robes to celebrate. Thank Intact, #1 sponsor of speedskating in Canada

I’ve posted a few of my race videos from the past two weeks in the video tab above, so take a week if you’d like!

How I felt in weights today.

A little to show you guys how I felt at our weight session today.

Michael GildaMax?

The name of the fitness centre that we lifted weights at yesterday. So close but so far?


I’ll be posting here soon, so check back soon for new content!