Speed Skating Canada announced their short track athletes nominated to represent Canada at the first two ISU World Cups of the 2019-2020 season. These 12 skaters will hit the ice from November 1-3 in Salt Lake City, Utah, before appearing on home ice in Montreal from November 8-10.
The men’s team is comprised of Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.), Pascal Dion (Montréal, Que.), Maxime Laoun (Montreal, Que.) Cédrik Blais (Châteauguay, Que.), Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.) and William Dandjinou (Montreal, Que.). The women’s team includes Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.), Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.), Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.), Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.), Rikki Doak (Fredericton, N.B.) and Claudia Gagnon (Saguenay, QC).
Leading the way for Canada at these first two competitions are veteran Hamelin, who will compete in his 17th season on the World Cup circuit and Boutin, who captured a team leading five individual World Cup medals last season. They will be joined by fellow Olympian Dion, along with breakout stars from last season such as Dubois, Charles, Sarault and Blais.
The recent retirement of national team members Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer, Kasandra Bradette and Jamie Macdonald means a new crop of skaters will have the opportunity to gain valuable international experience, including three – Laoun, Dandjinou and Doak – that will make their World Cup debut in November.
It will mark the first time since 2000 that two New Brunswick skaters (Sarault and Doak) will represent Canada at a World Cup. Four Montreal natives (Dion, Charles, Laoun and Dandjinou) will also get the opportunity to compete on home ice at Maurice-Richard Arena in front of family and friends.
Together these skaters will look to build upon last year’s successful international campaign in which Canada won five World Championship medals and reached the podium 24 times at the World Cups.
“It is important for the development of the men’s program to see these new faces on the international stage. It will be an opportunity to consolidate the potential that we saw last season from some of our young skaters and I have confidence in our abilities to take up the challenge of this transition.”