Lay retires from competitive skating

Kirsti Lay, long track development team member, retires from competitive skating

– Speed Skating Canada announced today Kirsti Lay of Medicine Hat, Alta., has retired from competitive speed skating. She was selected to the development team for the 2012-13 season.

“It is an emotional decision, but one that I am confident in and one that I have made myself,” said the 24-year old, hampered by an ankle injury for the past two seasons. “I have been blessed to have had great experiences from skating. I know it’s time for something new.”

“Kirsti’s skill, work ethic and positive attitude will be missed in the training environment,” said Mark Wild. Wild and Xiuli Wang were Lay’s national teams program coaches. “Retirement due to injury is a difficult situation to process for an athlete and the coaches. Kirsti reached a very high level in the sport, competing in the World Junior Championships and senior level World Cups.

“Xiuli and I would like to congratulate Kirsti for the accomplishments she achieved in her skating career and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours,” added Wild.

Lay, who started skating at the age of 10 with the Medicine Hat Kinsmen Speed Skating Club, competed for Canada in two World Cups in 2010-11 and three World Junior Championships (2005, 2006 and 2007).

In her injury-shortened 2011-12 season, Lay placed seventh in the 1,500 metres and eighth in the 1,000 at the Fall World Cup Trials in late October. At the Can-Am International in November, she won the 1,500- and 3,000-metre races and was fourth in the 500 metres. In Lay’s last competition of the season at Canada Cup #1 in December, she won the 1,500 and 3,000 distances, took second and third place in the two 1,000-metre races and was fifth in the 500.

Lay was ranked in the 1,500 metres top 10 from 2005-06 to 2010-11. She also had top 10 Canadian rankings in each of the distances since 2005-06, going as high as fourth in the 3,000/5,000 during the 2010-11 season.