5 Canadian skaters to watch this season in long track ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


27 novembre 2018

5 Canadian skaters to watch this season in long track

With a new Olympic cycle just beginning, be sure to take note of these long track skaters who will be looking to shake things up over the next few years on route to Beijing 2022.

By: Maria Dalton
Photos By: @schaatsfotos, Arno Hoogveld and Marc-Antoine Caron

The start of a new Olympic cycle brings with it fresh new faces looking to make their mark on the Canadian team. While one can assume that skaters like Ted-Jan Bloeman, Ivanie Blondin, and Gilmore Junio will continue to play an integral role on the Canadian team, find below some skaters who could mix things up this season for the Canadians.

Tyson Langelaar

After finishing in second place overall at the 2018 World Junior Championships – an improvement from his third place finish the year before – Tyson Langelaar will be looking to make a splash during his first year of senior competition. The young Manitoban has competed at the past 3 World Junior Championships and won a gold medal in the Mass Start at the 2015 Canada Games. His main focus is on the 1500m, and he will be trying to qualify for the world cup events in this distance this fall at the long track team selections. Langelaar is among the group of young skaters – including Chris Fiola and David La Rue - who will be in their prime for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.  After spending his first full summer training with the national team in Calgary, it’s reasonable to expect that he is dialled in and ready to make his mark as the season kicks off.

Valerie Maltais

Valerie Maltais is no stranger to competition, having previously competed at three Olympic Games as a member of Team Canada’s short track squad. Her decision to switch to long track brings to a close the 22-year chapter of her life dedicated to short track. The Olympic silver medallist was a mainstay on the women’s short track team for years and will now shift her focus to the 400m oval. While the distances we can expect to see Valerie Maltais racing still aren't official, you can be sure that she will be looking to fire things up this year and make a splash in her first season new blades.

David La Rue
David La Rue surprised many speed skating fans last year with his performances at the world cup selections, where he finished in 4th place in both the 1000m and 1500m. As a result, he competed at the four fall World cup events in Heerenveen, Stavanger, Calgary and Salt Lake City in the B division. La Rue had a stellar season last year, and aside from competing in World cup events he was crowned Junior World Champion in the Mass Start, and captured the silver medal in the 1500m at the same championships. His performances last year saw him break the Canadian Junior record in the 1500m, and be named the Long Track Rising Star of the Year by Speed Skating Canada. He is among the cohort of skaters aiming to attend the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and if his past performances are any indication of what’s to come, he is surely someone to keep your eyes on in the coming seasons.

Isabelle Weidemann
Isabelle Weidemann has been consistently finishing in the top 10 at World cup events in the 3000/5000m, and helped the Canadians capture two bronze medals in the Team Pursuit this past season. She competed at her first Olympic games this year and showed great promise - finishing in 7th and 6th place in the 3000m and 5000m, respectively. In addition to her individual performances at the Games, Weidemann narrowly missed the podium alongside teammates Ivanie Blondin and Josie Morrison in the team pursuit. She has been very consistent on the World cup circuit, and at only 23 years of age Weidemann’s past performances put her in an excellent position to continue climbing up the World cup rankings over the coming seasons.

Christopher Fiola
Having just completed his first season at the senior level, Christopher Fiola will look to his past experiences on the World cup circuit to help push him to new heights this coming season. He had a great season last year and represented Canada on the World cup circuit in the mass start. Fiola was aiming to qualify for the Olympics in the mass start, however when he failed to qualify he made the switch to the 500m where he was a bit too late to the party and did not qualify for the team. He will be looking to improve his times this year in the 500m and hopes to finish consistently in the Top 20 in this distance. Although, he was unable to qualify for the Olympics this time around, he surely hasn’t missed his chance, with the 2022 Beijing Olympics only a few years away. Chris Fiola has already found success in the mass start, but with his focus now shifting to the 500m, and judging by his past performances he is somebody that should be on your radar as this season kicks off.

Be sure to keep an eye on these skaters as the season gets underway, and make sure you check out our coverage of long track events throughout the 2018/2019 season.

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