Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday. Dec. 15


Updated March 14

Updated April 8

Posted April 2

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(Posted 8:30 p.m., Dec. 28)
Orléans speedskater earns ticket to Sochi

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Gloucester Concordes member Ivanie Blondin has earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic Speed Skating team after placing second in the 3000 metres at the Olympic trials in Calgary. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Ever since she was a young girl, Orléans speedskater Ivanie Blondin has dreamed about competing at the Winter Olympics.

That dream is about to come true after the 23-year-old Gloucester Concordes member earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team with a second place finish in the 3000 metres at the national team trials in Calgary on Saturday.

"I feel absolutely amazing. It's something I've always dreamt about and to think I will soon be an Olympian... I'm at a loss for words," Blondin told OrleansOnline.ca shortly after the race.

It's been a long journey for Blondin who started speed skating when she was seven years old. After a successful junior career competing in short track, she made the switch to long track in 2010.

Believing she had a better chance of making it to the Olympics on the oval, Blondin soon began to specialize in the 3000 and 5000. In her first season comperting on the Canadian Development Team she placed ffth in the 3000 and first in the 5000 at the Canadian Single Distance Championships.

In 2011-2012, she suffered a setback and ended the season ranked eighth nationally in both distances. She bounced back last season with a first place result in the 5000 metres at the fall trials and a second place finish in the 3000 metres. She was also named to the pursuit team which had a win, two seconds and a third place result in five World Cup meets.

At the beginning of the current season, Blondin placed first in both the 3000 and the 5000 at the World Cup trials. She then fell victim to over-training and was gassed by the time the first World Cup was held in Calgary. She ended up placing 16th in the 3000 in the A Division and 43rd overall. A week later she placed 24th in the B Division in Salt Lake City and 40th overall.

After Salt Lake City she tapered off her training with the goal of being ready for the Olympic trials.

While Blondin has already earned a spot on the Olympic team in the 3000, she will be looking to put in a good time in the 5000 on the final day of the week long selection meet next Friday to qualify for the Olympics in the loger distance. She's also been named to the Canadian Olympic pursuit team.

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

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