QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC – Over 100 members of the Canadian speed skating community gathered in Quebec City this past Saturday to celebrate the sport’s Olympians from Beijing 2022.
The inaugural Olympic Celebration Gala – which was held in conjunction with Speed Skating Canada’s AGM and Congress – was an opportunity to look back on the successes of this past season and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our Olympic athletes, coaches and officials.
The gala featured stakeholders from across the speed skating community, including staff and volunteers from Speed Skating Canada and its thirteen provincial and territorial speed skating associations, along with over 30 Olympic athletes, coaches, officials and support staff members.
As part of Saturday’s celebration, Speed Skating Canada presented seven awards to individuals that represented Canada on and off the ice at Beijing 2022. The remainder this year’s award winners will be announced on the organization’s social channels in the coming weeks.
It was a memorable season for long distance specialist Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, Ont.), who became only the second Canadian ever to collect a full set of medals at a single Olympic Games. At Beijing 2022, she won bronze in the 3000m, silver in the 5000m and was crowned Olympic Champion in Women’s Team Pursuit alongside teammate Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais. Her performances at the Games earned her the incredible honour of carrying the Canadian flag for the closing ceremonies. The 26-year old also captured six World Cup medals this season and helped Canada finish first overall in the Team Pursuit. Weidemman becomes a two-time winner of the Catriona Le May Doan Award for Female Long Track Athlete of the Year, having previously won it in 2019.
Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) had incredible success at the first Olympic Games of this young career, leaving Beijing 2022 as the country’s most decorated male Olympian. The 25-year old won bronze in the 500m, silver in the 1500m and was a key member of the gold medal winning men’s relay team, alongside Charles Hamelin, Pascal Dion, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Maxime Laoun. He also brought home five World Cup medals in the fall and reached the podium at the season ending World Championships in Montreal, winner bronze in the men’s relay. Dubois wins the Marc Gagnon Award for Male Short Track Athlete of the Year for the second time, last winning it in 2020.
After stepping away from the sport during the pandemic to focus on her mental health, Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.) made an impressive comeback this past season. She was Canada’s only female short track medalist in Beijing, winning bronze in the 500m to capture the fourth Olympic medal of her career. She won three individual distance and two relay medals on the World Cup circuit, finishing the season ranked second overall in the 500m. She also captured three silver medals at the World Championships in Montreal en route to being crowned vice-champion. Boutin brings home the second Nathalie Lambert Award for Female Short Track Athlete of the Year of her career, having previously won it in 2018 and 2020.
Gilmore Junio (Calgary, Alta.) is widely recognized for his exceptional sportsmanship and leadership qualities both on and off the ice. He won the hearts of Canadians following his unselfish display of sportsmanship at Sochi 2014 – where he gave up his spot in the 1000m to teammate and eventual silver medalist Denny Morrison – and has since become an incredible role model for so many young athletes. Away from the oval, he is an active member of the community and uses his platform to advocate for diversity and inclusion and to inspire youth to participate in sport. He has served as the spokesperson for the Alberta Games and is currently an ambassador for Classroom Champions, where he mentors children to thrive socially and academically. Junio becomes the first ever recipient of the new Athlete Impact Award for Community Champion of the Year, which recognizes a community champion and positively influences those around them both on and off ice.
Remmelt Eldering joined the long track national team program following PyeongChang 2018 and has been the leader of Canada’s female middle and long distance skaters ever since. He has coached skaters such as Isabelle Weidemann and Ivanie Blondin to dozens of World Cup and World Championship medals in individual distances and is responsible for returning Canada’s once prominent women’s Team Pursuit squad back to the top of the international rankings. In Beijing, his athletes captured four medals, including bronze in the 3000m (Weidemann), silver in the 5000m (Weidemann), silver in the Mass Start (Blondin) and gold in the Team Pursuit (Weidemann, Blondin, Maltais). Eldering brings home the Jack Walters Award for Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.
A veteran of the national and international speed skating circuit, Trevis Boyd (Winnipeg, Man.) has officiated at World Cups and World Championships for the past seven years. The 62-year old earned the incredible opportunity to officiate at the sports highest level when he was assigned an Assistant Referee for long track at Beijing, one of only two Canadians to officiate at this year’s Olympics. He has been involved with speed skating for over twenty years, volunteering at competitions of all levels and serving as a mentor to fellow officials, offering his knowledge through officials’ development clinics and training opportunities. Boyd wins the Réné Marleau Award for Official of the Year for the first time in his career.