“I needed to find out what was wrong with me.” ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


30 septembre 2019

“I needed to find out what was wrong with me.”

If you closely follow the career of Canada’s Kim Boutin, you may have seen pictures of her on the web where she was training with the Dutch national team last August. We asked the Sherbrooke native, after her perfect weekend at the Canadian short track speed skating championships last week, what had pushed her to go skate in the Netherlands. 

By Carl Savard
Photos by Carl Savard, Kim Boutin, Lara van Ruijven and Suzanne Schulting personal collection

“When you keep repeating the same pattern you fall into a routine and I needed to get out of that for a moment. My mindset was different too because I knew I needed and wanted to be challenged but at the same time I didn’t want to be second and lose my natural rank in the hierarchy. I thought maybe if I’d totally get out of my actual environnement it could help me find the answers to the numerous questions and feelings I had at the time. I know that on the international scene, two skaters can really challenge me: Suzanne (Schulting from the Netherlands) and Choi (Min-Jeong from Korea) so I decided to go to the Netherlands. The Dutch team often let skaters from other countries visit and train with them. Arianna (Fontana) also spent two weeks there during the summer.”

Aside from skaters such as Vladislav Bykanov, who skates for Israel but trains in the Netherlands, the Dutch national training center in Heerenveen is accustomed to seeing skaters from elsewhere in Europe, from Asia or America come and train with the Dutch skaters. It may be one of the reasons why the Dutch national program in short track speed skating has evolved so much and got so good in the last decade. 

“I’m not really someone who likes to travel a lot. I was in the Netherlands for only a week but  I really liked it. I needed to find out what was wrong with me. Why I didn’t feel like things were allright. The trip did help. When I came back to Montreal, I sat with the coaching staff and talked about ways to make me feel comfortable, be happy and still grow as a skater. I worked with Fred (Blackburn) and Seb (Cros), I did some training with the men’s team, I received my cues from new voices and it felt good. In a perfect world, the top twenty skaters in the world would train together. There would always be someone to push you and make you better.”

Kim Boutin is fully aware that she is a force to be reckoned with on the world stage in short track, but she wants more. She wants to dominate and she is taking positive actions to maximize her chances.

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