PHOTO: ANDY YOUNG
Long track speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen, who moved to Canada in June from his native Netherlands, has received clearance from the International Skating Union to compete for his new home, Speed Skating Canada announced today.
The 28-year-old long distance specialist will make his international debut for Canada in the 10,000m event at a World Cup in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 22. He is also eligible to skate at the World All Round Championships, which will be held at the Olympic Oval in Calgary March 7-8.
Bloemen's teammates left Friday for the opening World Cup of the season, which is scheduled for Obihiro, Japan, from Nov. 14-16. Bloemen will meet the delegation in Seoul, which is the site of the only 10,000m on the 2014-15 World Cup schedule.
“Obviously I'm really happy with this news,” he said. “I feel like I'm skating better than ever so I can’t wait to test myself against the top skaters of the world.”
“Also I’m proud to be part of the Canadian team. We’re all working hard to improve ourselves as well as each other. In the team meeting recently we were asked about the “Canadian Way”. For me that is it.”
Bloemen broke a nine-year-old Canadian record in the 10,000m at the ISU Fall World Cup selections in Calgary on Oct. 25. He also qualified for the fall World Cup team in the 5,000m.
“As a coaching team we are very happy Ted-Jan will be able to race for Canada”, said his coach Bart Schouten. “He strengthens our team in the longer distances and will be a great addition in team pursuit.”
Bloemen has held dual citizenship since birth because his father was born in New Brunswick. The family moved to the Netherlands when Ted-Jan's father was young.
Bloemen made 14 World Cup starts for the Netherlands in individual races from 2007 to 2013 and won a World Cup silver medal in team pursuit in 2008. He finished fourth overall at the 2010 World All Round Championships.
More info is available on Speed Skating Canada’s Website: www.speedskating.ca.