François Hamelin comes from what many have called the ‘First Family’ of Canadian short track speed skating. He made his Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010 alongside older brother Charles and the two had the joy of standing on top of the podium together after winning gold in the 5000m relay. The Canadians employed a strategy dubbed ‘Operation Cobra’ which gave anchor skater François-Louis Tremblay an extended period of rest before skating the last two laps. Earlier in the Games, the brother had raced in the 1000m final together but neither reached the podium with Charles leading a 4-5 finish.
The Sochi 2014 Games were tough for the Canadian short track team, especially in the 5000m relay when Hamelin stepped on a disk in the semifinal and fell, ending hopes of defending the gold medal won in Vancouver.
Although Charles has had more success, François is capable of beating his big brother. François had his most significant individual result at the 2010 World Championships when he won silver in the 500m while Charles just missed the podium in fourth place.
François had made his world championship debut in 2008 and was named that year’s Rising Star for short track by Speed Skating Canada. He was unable to qualify for the 2013 World Championships due to a cut foot sustained at the Canadian Championships. Frustrated with the way his season ended, he went to Calgary to skate some long track for fun and regain his motivation.
2010 Olympic Champion 5000m Relay… 2010 World Silver Medallist 500m… 2011 World Champion 5000m Relay… 2008 World Silver Medallist 5000m Relay…
Getting Into the Sport: Started speed skating at age five… As a child he had a lot of energy so his mother asked him if he wanted to do a sport… He was already skating on the lake by their house in hockey skates but decided to try speed skating after seeing it in a book… Odds and Ends: Studying accounting at UQAM but taking a break from school to focus on Sochi… Volunteers with KidSport, an organization that helps underprivileged children be able to participate in sport… Sporting idol is Swiss tennis star Roger Federer… Favourite Olympic moment was celebrating with his family after accepting his Olympic gold medal…
Notable International Results
ISU World Championships: 2011 – 7th (500m), 4th (1000m), 11th (1500m), GOLD (5000m relay); 2010 – SILVER (500m), 13th (1000m), 13th (1500m); 2008 – 7th (500m), 9th (1000m), 21st (1500m), SILVER (5000m relay)