Sébastien Gagnon (left) and Jordan Pierre-Gilles (right) fight for position during a race at the 2019 Canadian Short Track Championships in Montreal. Credit: Baraldi Photographie

Speed Skating Canada is proud to announce the short track athletes nominated to represent Canada at next two ISU World Cups of the 2019-2020 season. These 12 skaters, including two World Cup rookies, will hit the ice from November 29 to December 1 in Nagoya, Japan and from December 6 to 8 in Shanghai, China.

The men’s team is comprised of Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.), Pascal Dion (Montréal, Que.), Cédrik Blais (Châteauguay, Que.), Maxime Laoun (Montreal, Que.), Sébastien Gagnon (Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Que.) and Jordan Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, 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 Genève Bélanger (Montreal, Que.).

Leading the way for Canada is Boutin, who has been unbeatable so far this season en route to four consecutive gold medals. She’ll be joined by fellow individual medalists Dubois and Sarault, along with Final A participants from Salt Lake City and Montreal, Charles and Laoun.

Gagnon, 24, and Pierre-Gilles, 21, are both slated to make their World Cup debuts in Nagoya, while Bélanger, who has two World Cup medals in the relay to her name, returns to the circuit for the first time since 2015.

Meanwhile, veteran national team member Charles Hamelin (Saint-Julie, Que.), who is coming off a knee and ankle injury sustained this summer, was not recommended to compete at these two World Cups as it was not part of his individual training plan.

Together these skaters will look to build upon the Canadian team’s early season success, in which they’ve won six individual medals and three relay medals. They are back in action from November 29 to December 1 in Nagoya, Japan.

““I’m very excited to have made it to the World Cup level after many years on the national team. Last year, I started skating without thinking of my results: I just wanted to skate for fun. I think this philosophy helped me get ranked and it’s the approach I will take over the next couple of weeks. I can not wait to compete against the best in the world, especially alongside my team. I’m not the type to feel a lot of pressure even if these are my first World Cups. My only goal is to give 100% and enjoy the experience as much as I can!”

– Sébastien Gagnon
“I still can’t believe it. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this moment for over four years now, so returning to the World Cup circuit still seems a tad unreal. Hard work, dedication, patience and determination are what helped me through the process of securing a place on the Canadian team, so I just want to stop for a moment to be proud of where I am now, to take a deep breath and from there, build towards the future.”

– Genève Bélanger
“I’m very excited to have been selected to travel to Asia. I cannot wait to measure myself against the best skaters, to showcase my abilities and give everyone a good show!”

– Jordan Pierre-Gilles