Pregnant, Anouk Leblanc-Boucher Puts an End to her Season; She is still planning to vie for a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team

After being told by Anouk Leblanc-Boucher that she was six weeks pregnant, Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is announcing that for obvious medical reasons she will not participate in competition with the national short track speed skating team for the rest of the season.

“I’m very happy. Of course, this unexpected news puts an end to my season, but I’m planning to keep skating,” declared Anouk Leblanc-Boucher. “A post-olympic year is good to take time for myself. I am planning to stay in as good a shape as possible in order to get back on the ice for the 2007-08 season, and to prepare for the 2010 Olympic games. Given the personal nature of this event, I would rather not comment more in order to live it with my partner and my family. I am convinced that members of the media will respect this decision and I thank them in advance for their understanding.”

Following the happy news, the medical group of the national team got together in order to help Anouk both on the medical side and in establishing an adapted training program that she can follow during her pregnancy. For the time being, the skater is still a member of the National Team.

“Anouk obviously can’t compete anymore because of the risks associated to short track speed skating, but as long as her pregnancy progresses normally, she will train with the rest of the team until the end of the season”, explained the medical team. “We will just need to adjust her training program in order to avoid all risks.”

At Speed Skating Canada, the news were well received. “From our stand point, we want to congratulate Anouk and to wish her the best of luck,” said Jean R. Dupré, Director General of SSC. “It’s an important part of our feminine team that will be away from competition, but this will allow our young developing skaters to get more international experience while we skate towards 2010.”

The postpartum training will be evaluated by the skater’s doctor along with the national short track speed skating medical team. “With those measures, we will ensure that Anouk’s pregnancy goes well while minimizing the impacts of this inactivity period on her speed skating carreer,” ended the medical team.

Anouk Leblanc-Boucher will therefore not skate in the World Cup that will be held in Montreal from December 8 to 10 because of the risks. She will be replaced by Anne Maltais, who is already skating in the Saguenay stop of the World Cup from December 1 to 3.