14th Masters International Speed Skating Games - Recap

Nine Canadians took part this year at the 14th Masters International Speed Skating Games.

The Games were held in Baselga de Piné, Italy , Feb.25-27, 2005

Approximately 200 skaters from 13 countries participated in 5 year age groups from age 30 to 80 yrs.

Despite the late winter storms in Italy and the inevitable travel woes the skies cleared and the competition proved successful for all skaters and organizers.

At 1000m elevation and sunny skies, Baselga provided a World class backdrop for personal best times by all Canadians.

Best performance by a Canadian was Eugene Kurmey of Winnipeg who achieved 4 Personal Bests in the 75 yr age group en route to the GOLD medal in his first International competition.

Canadian Olympian Patrick Kelly, from Lake Placid, NY took SILVER in the 40 yr old men division and proved to be the fastest of 200 skaters by posting an impressive 38.32 500m time. Also in this age group, Doug Brown from Calgary finished 11th.
Ann Hanham of Burlington, Ontario posted a 5th place finish in Ladies age 50 group.

Anika Bedard from Ste. Foy Quebec and Lise Fornier of Matane Quebec had 6th place finishes in the 35-40 and 45-50 age groups respectively.

Bob Laurence of Cambridge, Ont was 12th and Ross Hanham of Burlington , 14th in the men 50-55 division.

Brett Arnason also of Winnipeg finished 21st of 29 skaters in the 55-60 group.

Special thanks to our Canadian coaching staff, friends and supporters who accompanied us to Italy. The organization of the games was superb as was the awards ceremony and the closing banquet which ended with International hospitality at the Boathouse on the lake in Baselga.

The world Masters Speed Skating Games will travel to Helsinki Finland next year and return to Calgary in 2007.

See you there!

Submitted by Bob Laurence.