MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Double Olympic medalist Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., who has been a fixture on Canada’s short track speed skating team for nearly a decade, has made the decision to hang up his skates and retire from competition.
Cournoyer, 28, has been a member of the senior national team since 2011 and has earned an impressive 32 international medals over the course of his career. He is also in elite company as one of only nine Canadian male short track skaters to have won multiple Olympic medals.
He was the youngest member of the short track team at Sochi 2014 where he made his Olympic debut and brought home a surprise bronze medal in the 500m. He won a second Olympic bronze four years later at PyeongChang 2018, this time as a member of the men’s 5,000m relay team alongside Charles Hamelin, Pascal Dion and the recently retired Samuel Girard.
“On behalf of the Canadian speed skating community, I would like to congratulate Charle on his wonderful career and thank him for representing his country with pride on the international stage over the past nine years,” said Susan Auch, CEO of Speed Skating Canada. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavours away from the rink.”
Cournoyer’s international debut was quite memorable, winning bronze in the 1500m at his first-ever World Cup in Nagoya, Japan in 2011. He went on to capture a total of 27 medals on the international circuit, including 9 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze. Of those medals, 11 were in individual distances – including nine in the 1000m – while the remaining 16 were in the relay.
He also reached the World Championship podium three times as a member of the men’s relay team, winning gold in 2013 and silver in both 2016 and 2018.
Cournoyer missed a large part of the 2014-15 season due to injuries following his Olympic debut in Sochi, requiring surgery on both shoulders and time to recover from a broken bone in his right foot. He overcame those setbacks and earned a fifth overall ranking on the World Cup circuit the following season.
Since the 2015-16 season, he is the third most decorated Canadian male on the World Cup circuit, with only Hamelin (15) and Girard (13) having won more individual medals than him (9).
Cournoyer reached the podium three times during his final World Cup campaign this past season, winning silver in the 1000m in Dresden, while helping Canada capture relay gold in Dresden and silver in Almaty. He also helped establish a new Canadian record in the men’s relay at the World Cup in Calgary, racing to a time of 6:29.414 with his PyeongChang 2018 teammates.