Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


Posted Jan. 10

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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 3:30 p.m., Feb. 23)
Orléans speed skater finishes 7th at World Junior Championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ivanie Blondin (centre) takes a break from the competition in Zakopane, Poland with teammates Sarah Gregg and Brianne Tutt. Photo provided

Already considered to be one of the best young short track speed skaters in Canada, Orléans native Ivanie Blondin is quickly making a case to be considered as one of the best all-around speed skaters in the country after finishing 7th at the World Junior Long Track Speed Skating Championships in Zakopane, Poland on the weekend.

Less than a month after becoming the first Canadian female to qualify for both the World Junior long track and short track championships in the same year, Blondin continued raise a few eyebrows in Poland by posting the top result among the Canadian women in three of the four events.

She placed 10th in the 1500, 14th in the 1000 and fifth in the 3000. Her weakest event was the 500, in which she finished 24th in the first heat and 13th in the second race for a combined 15th place result.

“I was really happy I finished 10th in the 1500, but not so happy with my time,” Blondin said in a e-mail message to Orleans Online. “I was really nervous and I started off really hard. I used both my arms through the whole race, which I shouldn’t have done. I really wanted to go for it and in the last lap I died off a little bit. I could have done a little better."

"The 3000 was incredible. At about the third or fourth lap I saw that my pace dropped down a bit, so I picked it up right away and finished really hard. At one point in the race the sun broke through the clouds for about a lap and I remember thinking 'I feel so good'. Everything was so smooth."

After the meet, the 19-year-old was invited to join the national develop.m.ent team and will now split her training between the natonal short track develop.m.ent program in Montreal and the long track program which is based in Calgary.

“I am so happy with my junior year. Competing at both the World Junior championships is a huge accomplishment for me and I am really happy about that,” said Blondin. "I wont get double funding, but I will get both skin suits and trips for trials and training camps. I'm so happy with everything."

Although the two disciplines are both competed on speed skates, they are as different as apples and oranges. First of all, as the name implies, long track is done on a much bigger oval, usually outdoors, while short track meets almost always take place in hockey arenas.

Also short track is a tactical race with five or six skaters competing at the same time off a mass start. In long track the competitors are skating against the clock in pairs, but on opposite sides of the oval.

Blondin has been competing in short track since she was a young girl. As a member of the Gloucester Concordes she quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the best junior skaters in Canada. She qualified for her first World Junior Championship at 14 and made the Senior National Develop.m.ent team at 16. In 2007, she competed in her first World Cup event.

She went to B.C. for the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships earlier this month to see how she stacked up against the country's best junior long track specialists and ended up finishing second overall which earned her a birth on the World Junior team.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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