Stephen Gough & Sébastien Cros Join National Short Track Speed Skating Coaching Team

Speed Skating Canada welcomes Sébastien Cros and Stephen Gough as they become the final members of its short track speed skating coaching team leading to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Cros joined the national training centre this week, while Gough started working with the team earlier this season, as he was finishing a Law Degree at McGill University.

Cros moved from France to join the Canadian speed skating national program, where he will be responsible to coach the female short track development team. He has just started his duties this week, joining the team for a training camp currently being held in Calgary.

To this day, Sébastien Cros was coaching the French national team. He has a brevet d’état as a sports trainer, 2nd level, in France, which is the equivalent to a Masters degree in sports here in Canada. He has been coaching short track speed skating for over 7 years now and his technical abilities in short track are well known.

“On the personal side, I needed a new challenge, a new beginning, in order to stay motivated in my work. I wanted to get to the next level. As a coach of a less performing nation than Canada, I saw the opportunity to show my abilities with a world-level team, and this was a great challenge. As well, the organization surrounding the short track here, especially in this team approach for the skaters, shows me a very professional way to work. With the home Olympic Games in mind, where only victory will be recognized as a success, I didn’t need anything further to cross the Atlantic.”

Stephen Gough is an Olympian who competed at the Lillehammer Games in 1994 and who skated in the 1993 and 1994 World Championships. He was a member of the Canadian National Team for six years, from 1992 to 1998. He then became coach of the Canadian Development Team, and then went to coach the American for four years. Gough is just about to finish his Law Degree at McGill University, part-time, as he also accepted to take on the 2010 Games challenge.

“I'm really happy to have the opportunity to be part of the Short Track program as we build towards 2010. I hope to share my knowledge and experience with the athletes in order to help them realize their full potential as skaters and as persons. I believe in their spirit and am confident that with hard work and thorough preparation they will achieve their goals.”

They will be working closely with Martin Gagné (female national team coach) and Derrick Campbell (male national team coach). Together, and under the direction of Yves Hamelin, National Program Director – Short Track with Speed Skating Canada, they will provide guidance and support to the Canadian Short Track Team towards international success.

“We are proud to have such a strong team of coaches surrounding our athletes and I believe that Sébastien will be a great addition to that team, while Stephen already had time to show what he could bring to the team ever since he started in January. Both of them bring a strong technical experience in short track,” explained Yves Hamelin. “Speed Skating Canada believes in a team approach through which each coach brings different strenghts to the skaters, helping them in their development.”

The Canadian Short Track Speed Skating athletes had an outstanding season in 2006-07, with 32 medals in five short track world cups (13 gold, 11 silver and 8 bronze) and 6 medals at the Short Track World Championships (2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze). With the vast majority of the skaters back for the 2007-08 season, SSC has high hopes for the success of the team this year.