The cancellation of most speed skating World Cups ahead of the holidays is forcing Canadian short and long track skaters to contain their impatience to take on the international elite 18 months before the Olympics.
On the long track; the risks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic have led the international skating events body; the International Skating Union (ISU); to cross off the World Cups scheduled for Tomaszow-Mazowiecki in Poland from the calendar; from November 13 to 20. ; Stavanger; Norway; December 20-22; Salt Lake City; December 4-6; and Calgary; December 11-13.
Therefore; this decision will limit the skaters Laurent Dubreuil; Alex Boisvert-Lacroix and Quebec to just three events during the winter; namely the Changchun World Cup in China; on February 17 and 18; the world championships. in Beijing; from 25 to 28.; and the finals in Heerenveen; on March 6 and 7.
“It is true that it is a bit discouraging; but we tell ourselves that our situation is not so bad when we imagine the athletes who suffered the postponement of the Summer Olympics;” says the coach of the Gaétan Boucher National Training Center; Gregor Jelonek.
Unless this sport in turn embraces the bubble concept? ISU leaders are considering a plan to hold two World Cups in two weeks this fall in Heerenveen; the Netherlands; preceded by a 14-day acclimatization period for the skaters.
“Athletes want this. Even if that required them to live in a bubble for six weeks (in addition to the 14-day quarantine imposed upon their return to Canada); our skaters want to skate; –observes Jelonek; who says he is expecting an announcement on this issue in the next few months. days.
“We see that the DAA is making efforts; but we hope to have information as soon as possible because we feel a bit hostage to this situation.”
Montreal and Laval canceled
The international federation also canceled; on Monday; the short-track World Cups that were to be presented at the Maurice-Richard Stadium in Montreal; from November 6 to 8; and at the Place Bell de Laval; from 13 to 15.
Charles Hamelin; Kim Boutin and the Canadian team will now have to wait until December with the events scheduled for Seoul (11-13) and Beijing (18-20); which will serve as test events in anticipation of the 2022 Olympics. However; the DAA has indicated that the fate of these two World Cups depends on an evaluation with the concerned authorities.
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