11:30 a.m., Feb. 2)
speed skater earns spot in the record books
native Ivanie Blondin placed second at the Canadian Junior Long Track Speed Skating
Championships in Richmond, B.C. on the weekend. File photo by Yves Longpré
speed skater Ivanie Blondin made history on the weekend becoming the first female
competitor to make both the World Junior short track and long track teams in the
short track specialist went into the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships
in Richmond, B.C. as an unknown entity having never competed on the larger oval
in her life.
placing sixth in the 500 metres on Friday, she surprised everybody including herself
by finishing second in the 1500 metres. She then went out and blew away the field
in the 3000 metres on Saturday, winning in a time of 4:26.38.
Sunday, Blondin capped off the meet with a third place finish in the 1000 meters.
Contacted by cell phone late Sunday night, Blondin could barely contain her glee
at having made the World Junior team.
my gosh, I'm so excited it's ridiculous. I can't stop smiling," said Blondin
who competed after suffering a concussion in a fall during the Canadian Senior
Short Track Championships two weeks ago. She is also battling a mild case of bronchitis
and had to skate in her short track boots using long track blades.
decided to enter the long track championships on a whim after talking to fellow
short track specialist Guillaume Blais-Dufour who also made history by becoming
the first male to make both World Junior teams.
think the fact that I didn't have any pressure on me really helped. I just wanted
to have fun and enjoy the experience," said Blondin who will be joining the
rest of the World Junior team in Calgary this week before heading off to the North
American Championships on the weekend.
then plans to fly back to Montreal for some light training before jetting off
to Zakopane, Poland for the World Junior Long Track Championships on
placed eighth overall at the World Junior Short Track Championships in Sherbrooke
last month and helped Team Canada win a silver medal in the 3000 metre relay.
weeks later she finished in 11th place at the Canadian Senior Short Track Championships
in Montreal. She very nearly won the gold medal in the 1500 metres at the event,
but was disqualified in the final when she lost an edge while trying to overtake
the leader heading into the last lap.
believes the mental toughness that comes with having to compete at close quarters
in short track helped her in Richmond, as did the trait for short track speed
skaters to aggressively attack the turns.
think being a short track skater helped, many people mentioned that my cornering
was very aggressive and fast. In short track, you have no choice but to be speedy
in the turns," said Blondin. "And in short track you have to be strong
mentally because of the contact. In long track there's no one in your way and
no one to bump you. It's a piece of cake (comparatively)."
Despite her success on the weekend, Blondin said she plans to continue to concentrate
on short track as her career moves forward.
know I'm a short-tracker. I love the competitive side of it and the bumping. I've
been a short-tracker all my life," she said.
11:30 a.m., Feb. 2)
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