Charles Hamelin was Canada’s only multiple gold medallist of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, contributing two of the country’s record-setting 14 first-place finishes. His performance was particularly remarkable because he won both gold medals within a 30-minute span. At Sochi 2014 he captured gold in the 1500m, making him just the second Canadian man to win three Olympic gold medals.
The Road to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
After opening the 2010 Games with a seventh place finish in the 1500m, Charles Hamelin raced the 1000m final alongside younger brother François, but neither reached the podium, with Charles leading a 4-5 finish. As the reigning world champion, Hamelin set an Olympic record in the quarterfinals of the 500m. In the final, he avoided a collision on the last corner to take the gold medal, sharing the podium with teammate François-Louis Tremblay who won bronze.
A half hour later, Charles Hamelin was back on the ice for the 5000m relay final. The Canadians won gold thanks to a strategy dubbed ‘Operation Cobra’ which gave anchor skater Tremblay an extended period of rest before skating the last two laps. This put the Hamelin brothers on the top step of the podium together.
Four years earlier, Hamelin had been the youngest of Canada’s male short track speed skating team competing at Turin 2006. He finished fourth in his only individual event, the 1500m. Charles Hamelin won his first career Olympic medal, silver, as a member of the 5000m relay team.
Based on his experience and accomplishments, Charles Hamelin is considered the leader of the national team, having competed at the senior world championships for a decade.