Canada’s national speed skating team to train in Richmond, their 2010 home

Speed Skating Canada (SSC) and the City of Richmond announced today that Canada’s National Long Track Speed Skating Team will take part in a summer training camp in Richmond from May 28 to June 2, 2007. Richmond will be home to the long track speed skating competition in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Sixty-plus athletes, coaches and trainers will take part in the training camp, including a number of Olympic medallists and medal hopefuls for 2010. The training camp will help national team members continue their preparations for the coming season and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, while familiarizing themselves with the community where they will go for gold in 2010.

“Speed Skating Canada sees this as a great opportunity for our athletes to start getting acquainted with the City of Richmond prior to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” says Jean R. Dupré, Director General, Speed Skating Canada. “This, along with the future training opportunities our athletes will have on the Richmond Oval in the next few years, is a great way not only to give us an advantage on the ice, but to become more familiar with the community itself and to start building a strong relationship with it.”

“We’re very excited to be welcoming these great athletes to Richmond,” says Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We’re committed to doing whatever we can to help build the home field advantage so that Canada will own the podium in 2010. We want to get our community behind our speed skaters so that they’re not just Canada’s team, but also Richmond’s team at the Olympics.”

A number of national team members will also visit local schools during their stay to speak about the benefits of sport and Olympism. The national team members will also be formally introduced to the community at the Richmond City Council meeting on May 28, 2007.

As part of their training program, the team members will take part in a variety of training activities and sports at a number of Richmond sport and fitness facilities and will visit the site of the Richmond Oval, which will host long track speed skating in 2010 and is now under construction.

Earlier this year, Speed Skating Canada officially declared Richmond to be the “Home of Speed Skating Canada’s Champions” in the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games. Speed Skating Canada and the City of Richmond are working to ensure that athletes get to train and compete at the Oval as soon as it opens in 2008 in their preparation for the Olympic Games. The City of Richmond will assist Speed Skating Canada athletes, coaches and partners and ensure they feel welcomed and at home in Richmond, not only at the time of the Olympic Games, but also in the prior years.

As part of the partnership, Speed Skating Canada will centralise its parents and friends program for the Olympic Winter Games in Richmond, where they will be hosting various activities and receptions for the families and friends of the Canadian and international speed skating communities.

For the complete list of both the National and Development long track speed skating teams for 2007-08, please visit the High Performance, Athletes Bios - Long Track section of the SSC Website.