Canada will host three speed skating World Cups next season
Feature photo: Canadian speedskaters William Preudhomme, Valérie Maltais and Patrick Duffy join a youth skater to make ISU announcement in Toronto (Alexandra Fernando)
Canada will host three World Cup speed skating events next season, including a first-ever for Toronto.
Speed Skating Canada announced the season opening ISU Short Track World Cup in Montreal, from October 30th to November 1st at Maurice Richard Arena. Elite short trackers will be in Canada on back-to-back weekends as the MasterCard Centre will host the second World Cup event from November 6th to 8th, 2015.
Last season Canada won 28 World Cup short track medals, led by veteran Olympian Marianne St-Gelais with her 12 podiums. Charles Hamelin collected 8 medals. The 2014-15 season saw a handful of Canadian rookies on the World Cup tour. 20-year-old Kim Boutin won her first two individual medals at the season ending competition in Turkey.
The new Toronto event would have a 3,000-seat capacity and could influence Canadian success. The most recent back-to-back Canadian start to a short track World Cup tour was Calgary and Montreal in 2012-13. There were also three international speed skating events that season because Calgary hosted a long track World Cup in January 2013.
Speed Skating Canada was also awarded the opening long track event, at Calgary’s Olympic Oval from November 13th to 15th, 2015. Calgary was home to World Allrounds in March of 2015.
During the course of 2014-15, Canadians won 19 international long track medals, at both World Single Distance Championships (4) and on the World Cup stage (15). 25-year-old Ivanie Blondin led the way with seven.