World champion St-Gelais in Olympic mode for World Cup season
After an extremely successful 2015-16, three-time Olympic medallist Marianne St-Gelais is looking forward to the coming short track speed skating season.
Once again, she hopes to be a force to be reckoned with on the World Cup circuit. St-Gelais was Canada’s leader last season, earning 11 individual podium finishes over the six competitions.
However, her success wasn’t limited to the World Cups. In March, St-Gelais became Canada’s first female short track world champion since 2007, taking the 1500m title in Seoul before adding a 500m silver on the same day.
“I’m pretty much at the same level I was last year,” St-Gelais told Olympic.ca at the Short Track Fall World Cup Selections. “It’s encouraging, it means that I had a good summer, that I trained well and that the results should be similar.”
At the national selections, St-Gelais showed her fitness, winning five out of six events. Although Speed Skating Canada has yet to announce its 2016-17 World Cup team, St-Gelais’ strong performance after an impressive season makes her a likely pick for the squad.
“I certainly had a good season last year,” she said. “Results wise, I don’t have the goal of repeating what I did last year, but I hope to have good races because I want to make the Olympic team.”
With less than 500 days to PyeongChang 2018, St-Gelais has her eyes set on representing Canada at her third Olympic Winter Games where she’d like to add to the 500m silver she won at Vancouver 2010 and the pair of 3000m relay silvers from those first Games and Sochi 2014. With a world title now on her résumé as well, she knows she’s one to watch.
“There are so few big competitions, we don’t want to leave anything up the chance,” she said of the quickly-approaching Games. “We’re already in Olympic mode and the closer we get, the more we’ll feel it.”
The six-stop 2016-17 World Cup season begins on home ice for the Canadians, with the first event set for Calgary, November 4-6.