This article was originally published on the Speed Skating Canada website.
Historical First for Toronto Which Will Hold the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup #2 on November 6-8, 2015
Canada will host a total of three Short and Long Track World Cups next season
Toronto will host for the very first time an international speed skating competition this fall, as the best short track speed skaters in the world will meet at the MasterCard Centre, November 6-8, 2015, for the second ISU Short Track World Cup of the 2015-2016 season.
Toronto will be one of the three Canadian cities to host an international speed skating event next season. Montreal will open the short track season by presenting the first World Cup, October 30-November 1st at the Maurice-Richard Arena. Calgary’s Olympic Oval will play host to the first Long Track World Cup of the season, November 13-15.
"The International Skating Union encourages its Members to be as active as possible. Therefore when a Member is willing to host multiple events during a season, it shows the implication and determination of that Member to promote ISU sports”, said ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta. “The ISU is pleased to have allotted three ISU events to Speed Skating Canada, including an ISU World Cup Speed Skating event in Calgary and two back-to-back ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating events in Montreal and Toronto."
“Toronto looks forward to hosting the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup competition for the very first time”, said Mayor John Tory. This year, Toronto will be the epicentre of all things sport, and we are excited to welcome the best speed skaters in the world and cheer on our talented Canadian athletes.”
“Speed Skating Canada is very pleased to host the best speed skating athletes in the world next season in three international events”, said Speed Skating Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Moss. “This reflects our strategy to host an increasing number of events like these in Canada and, consequently, to better promote our sport on short and long track, as well as our athletes who are representing us so well.”
See the best in the world in action in Toronto
Toronto fans will be able to see for the first time live the Short Track Canadian national team members, including Olympic medalists Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, François Hamelin, Olivier Jean and Guillaume Bastille, who all skated for Canada last season.
Two up-and-coming skaters from the Toronto area, Patrick Duffy and William Preudhomme, also represented Canada in World Cups last winter.
Patrick Duffy, a 23 year-old athlete from Oakville, took part in all six World Cups last season for the first time of his career. He won his first-ever individual medal at World Cup #6 in Erzurum, Turkey, in the 1000m event.
William Preudhomme, 21 year-old skater from Toronto, won the bronze medal in the 500m event in his first-ever World Cup in Shanghai. The following week, he also took part in last season's fourth World Cup, held in Seoul, where he took 8th position in the 1500m event and 7th place in the 3000m race.
“The thought of skating in Toronto is quite exciting, yet a challenge at the same time”, said Patrick Duffy. “If I were to skate in front of that home crowd, the support and adrenaline would be comparable to skating in Montreal. But that’s where the challenge would lie, in controlling that high that the crowd gives you and focusing it into a medal. At this point, there is still loads of work to do in the summer, but skating in Toronto is definitively an idea that drives my training forward.”
In the first World Cup of the season held last year in the Americas, in Salt Lake City, U.S.A., 146 skaters (62 women and 84 men) took part in the competition.
Among the athletes present, 10 of the 13 individual medalists from the 2014 Olympic Games were in action, including Charles Hamelin, Victor An and Vladimir Grigorev (Russia), Sjinkie Knegt (Netherlands), and Dajing Wu and Tianyu Han (China) on the men's side, as well as Arianna Fontana (Italy), Kexin Fan and Yang Zhou (China) and Suk-Hee Shim (South Korea) on the women's side.
Competition will start on the Friday with qualifying for the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and relay events, both on the men's and women's side, and will progress toward the final rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets for the Toronto competition will be available starting September 1st. Maximum capacity will be 3000 seats per day.
“On behalf of the Toronto World Cup Organizing Committee, we are excited to be bringing a major event like the upcoming ISU Short Track World Cup to Toronto”, said the president of the organizing committee and of the Toronto Speed Skating Club, Desmond Preudhomme. “This is a great opportunity for the people within the GTA to see firsthand the excitement of the sport, and to see World and Olympic champions in action! This is an opportunity that is not to be missed.”
More information is available on Speed Skating Canada’s Website: www.speedskating.ca.