Short track teams set sights on 2012-13 season, 2014 Olympics

Canadian short track teams set sights on 2012-13 season and Sochi 2014 Olympics
Men’s and women’s coaching staffs set

– After only 93 days since the end of the 2011-12 short track speed skating season and 604 days until the Sochi 2014 Olympics, Speed Skating Canada’s national and development teams have their training schedule, team and staffs set for the 2012-13 season.

Frédéric Blackburn, former national team member and Olympic medallist, takes over the reigns as coach of the national women’s team. The 39-year-old native of Saguenay, Que., spent the past two seasons as the men’s development team coach. Blackburn will work with Jeffrey Scholten, the women’s development team coach for the past two seasons.

On the men’s side, Derrick Campbell continues to lead the national team for his seventh season. Campbell, 40, will be joined by Montreal native Laurent Daignault, recently named development team coach. The 43-year-old is a former national team member and won a silver medal in the relay at the Albertville 1992 Olympics. Daignault has been working with Speed Skating Canada in different capacities for approximately 13 years, specifically as an equipment technician since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Jonathon Cavar, 34, will remain the lead national and development teams coach for short track speed skaters based at the Calgary training centre. Cavar will be assisted by the Calgary Olympic Oval coach Mingyao Qi from China, with the program for the past three years.

“We are particularly pleased to have our coaching staff set for the Sochi 2014 Olympics,” said Yves Hamelin, Speed Skating Canada’s short track program director. “With Frédéric and Laurent joining their respective teams in Montreal, they will allow us to provide a stable and efficient environment. Their focus on technical skills and work ethic will help us reach our improvement objectives. Our athletes will enjoy a level of expertise at all levels and depth from our five national coaches. We are very confident that these changes will create a dynamic appreciated by all our athletes and support staff.”

The national and development teams have been preparing for the 2012-13 season since April 30. They are currently in Budapest, Hungary, for a training camp until June 23. The teams will resume their training at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal in late June.

The women’s national team is as follows: Sabrina Bourgela (Montreal), Kasandra Bradette (St. Félicien, Que.), Marie-Ève Drolet (Laterrière, Que.), Jessica Gregg (Edmonton), Jessica Hewitt (Kamloops, B.C.), Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.), Marianne St. Gelais (St. Félicien, Que.), Caroline Truchon (Chicoutimi, Que.) and Gabrielle Waddell (Red Deer, Alta.).

The men’s national team includes: Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.), Rémi Beaulieu (Alma, Que.), Michael Gilday (Yellowknife), Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.), François Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.), Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que.), Liam McFarlane (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and François-Louis Tremblay (Alma, Que.).

The seven women on the development team are: Vanessa Belanger-Marceau (Quebec City), Andrea Do-Duc (Montreal), Namasthée Harris-Gauthier (Montreal), Valerie Lambert (Quebec City), Ann-Veronique Michaud (Amqui, Que.), Keri Morrison (Burlington, Ont.) and Léa Thibault (Laval, Que.).

The men’s development squad features: Guillaume Blais-Dufour (Sherbrooke, Que.), Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier (Laval, Que.), Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, Que.), Vincent Cournoyer (Boucherville, Que.), Patrick Duffy (Oakville, Ont.), Pier-Olivier Gagnon (Montreal) and Alexandre St. Jean (Quebec City).

The fall short track schedule is as follows:
Sept. 14-16: Fall World Cup Selections, Calgary
Oct. 19-21: World Cup #1, Calgary
Oct. 26-28: World Cup #2, Montreal
Nov. 30-Dec. 2: World Cup #3, Nagoya, Japan
Dec. 7-9: World Cup #4, Shanghai, China