Canadian Olympic Medal Count
Valérie Maltais accomplished a rare feat at Beijing 2022, becoming just the third athlete in the world (and the first Canadian) to win Olympic medals in both forms of speed skating. She joined that small club by winning gold in long track speed skating’s team pursuit alongside Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann. The trio set an Olympic record time in the final.
Maltais had made her Olympic debut as a short track speed skater at Vancouver 2010 in just her second season of senior international competition. She finished 14th in her only event, the 1500m. Four years later she competed in all four short track events at Sochi 2014 and won a silver medal as part of the 3000m relay team. Maltais made her third Olympic appearance at PyeongChang 2018. A few months later, she announced she had decided to switch her focus to long track speed skating.
After just two months on clap skates, Maltais entered her first long track races. Within six months of making the switch, she was competing in her first long track World Cups in the fall of 2018. She made her debut at the World Allround Championships and World Single Distances Championships in 2019.
In 2019-20, she became an integral member of Canada’s women’s team pursuit, joining forces with Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann. The trio won three World Cup medals, including a gold in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan in December. They went on to win bronze at the World Single Distances Championships. Maltais posted her best individual result at the World Single Distances with her sixth-place finish in the mass start as she played a key support role for Blondin who captured the gold medal.
The 2020-21 season was cut to just two World Cups and the World Single Distances Championships because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Maltais, Blondin and Weidemann won team pursuit gold at both World Cups before claiming silver at the world championships. Individually, Maltais finished in the top-eight for career-best results in both the 3000m and 5000m at the world championships.
In October 2021, Maltais won her first national title in long track as she set a personal best in the 1000m. On the World Cup circuit in the fall of 2021, Maltais won three team pursuit gold medals with Blondin and Weidemann.
During her short track career, Maltais had competed at the 2006, 2007 and 2009 World Junior Championships, winning 500m bronze and relay silver in 2009. Maltais was a part of ten straight world championship teams from 2009 to 2018. She has seven medals as part of the 3000m relay team. In 2012 she stepped on the world championship podium by herself for the first time, taking bronze in the 1000m and finishing second in the overall rankings. It was an unexpected result that she credits to racing without fear. That led to her being named the 2012 Speed Skating Canada Female Athlete of the Year for short track. She won that award again in 2014 after winning another 1000m bronze at the world championships and finishing third in the overall classification.
Maltais’ first career individual World Cup victory came in 2012-13 when she won the 1000m in Montreal. In 2015-16 she finished second in the overall World Cup 1000m standings on the strength of three podium finishes. Maltais didn’t have a great start to her 2016-17 season, suffering tendonitis in her abductor as well as a hip problem that left her unable to fully train from the summer to December. She was still able to win four World Cup relay medals and finish on the podium twice individually in Dresden in February.
Maltais was also part of Team Canada at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, competing in inline skating. She had always enjoyed it as a hobby, but in 2014 she decided to pursue it competitively and won the Canadian title. She went on to dominate the 2015 Canadian trials, winning all six events. She finished seventh in both the 500m and 10,000m points race at the Pan Am Games.
A little more about Valérie
Getting into the Sport: Started speed skating in 1996 at the local rink in Saguenay… Had been figure skating for two years but her mother noticed short track at the Olympic Winter Games and put her in that because it was more competitive… As a figure skater she had always wanted to race her coach… Outside Interests: Enjoys hunting in consignment stores, watching TV shows and movies, cooking and discovering new food, yoga, playing board games, gardening, travelling… Supports Fast and Female, Classroom Champions, and the Quebec Breast Cancer FoundationFillactive… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: Everything happens for a reason… Favourite Olympic memory is watching Marc Gagnon and Jonathan Guilmette win gold and silver in the 500m at Salt Lake City 2002… Won four medals, including one gold, with Team Quebec in short track at the 2007 Canada Winter Games…
|2010 Vancouver||Speed Skating - Short Track||1,500m - Women||14|
|2014 Sochi||Speed Skating - Short Track||1,000m - Women||6|
|2014 Sochi||Speed Skating - Short Track||1,500m - Women||6|
|2014 Sochi||Speed Skating - Short Track||500m - Women||9|
|2014 Sochi||Speed Skating - Short Track||Relay 3,000m - Women||Silver|
|2018 PyeongChang||Speed Skating - Short Track||1000m - Women||7|
|2018 PyeongChang||Speed Skating - Short Track||Relay 3000m - Women||8|
|2018 PyeongChang||Speed Skating - Short Track||1500m - Women||19|
|2022 Beijing||Speed Skating - Long Track||3000m - Women||12|
|2022 Beijing||Speed Skating - Long Track||Team Pursuit - Women||Gold|
|2022 Beijing||Speed Skating - Long Track||Mass Start - Women||6|
Notable International Results
Olympic Winter Games (short track): 2018 - 7th (1000m), 8th (3000m relay), 19th (1500m); 2014 - 9th (500m), 6th (1000m), 6th (1500m), SILVER (3000m relay); 2010 - 14th (1500m)
Olympic Winter Games (long track): 2022 - 12th (3000m), GOLD (team pursuit), 6th (mass start)
Pan American Games (inline speed skating): 2015 - 8th (500m), 7th (10,000m points race)
ISU World Single Distances Championships: 2021 - 13th (1500m), 8th (3000m), 7th (5000m), 14th (mass start), SILVER (team pursuit); 2020 - 12th (3000m), 6th (mass start), BRONZE (team pursuit); 2019 - 15th (1500m), 12th (3000m), 23rd (mass start), 4th (team pursuit)
ISU World Allround Championships: 2022 - 10th (overall); 2020 - 17th (overall); 2019 - 17th (overall)
ISU World Short Track Championships: 2018 - BRONZE (3000m relay); 2017 - 5th (3000m relay); 2016 - SILVER (3000m relay), 13th (1000m), 13th (500m), 16th (1500m); 2015 - 6th (3000m relay); 2014 - 9th (500m), BRONZE (1000m), 4th (1500m), SILVER (3000m relay); 2013 - 8th (500m), 12th (1000m), 5th (1500m), SILVER (3000m relay); 2012 - 7th (500m), BRONZE (1000m), 13th (1500m), 4th (3000m relay); 2011 - BRONZE (3000m relay); 2010 - SILVER (3000m relay); 2009 - 14th (500m), 21st (1000m), 11th (1500m), BRONZE (3000m relay)