Schumann, Girard & Rudy representing Canada at the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships
The Olympic Oval is very proud to congratulate Oval program skaters Marco Schumann (Saskatoon, SK), Vincent Girard (Ville de Saguenay, QC) and Adrian Rudy (Toronto, ON) who are currently skating for Canada at the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships this weekend (March 2-4) in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland. For Schumann this marks his second trip to the World Junior Championships. Last year, he was the top Canadian with Alyson Charles with a 10th position in the overall rankings, including a sixth place finish in the 1500m. At this year’s Canadian Junior Championships, he won gold in the 500m and silver in the 1500m.
“It’s an odd feeling, last year I felt a lot less pressure, I think with it being the first time I was all about the experience and I thought no matter where I place they can’t take my jacket and suit away haha” Said Schumann “I guess you could say I didn’t have a lot of expectations last year where as this year I definitely do. This year I am focused on my goal of getting a medal at Worlds.”
They will be joined on the Men’s side by Alexis Marceau of Rivière-du-Loup, QC in representing the country after they took the first four spots in overall rankings at the Canadian Junior Championships, held December 15-17 in Ville de Saguenay, QC where Rudy walked away with the Canadian Junior Championship overall title.
Rudy won the 1000m and 1500m events and a silver medal in the 1500m Super Final in Ville de Saguenay to grab the men’s Canadian Junior Championships title.
“It’s incredible! It was a surprise. I didn't expect to do that. Last year, there was so many really strong skaters,” said Rudy, who decided to quit speed skating last year but ended up coming back.
“I was training in a small club in Toronto and I was pretty much the only fast skater there. It was hard to stay motivated and try to go to school at the same time. I was going to go to university and have a normal life but it was hard. However, I felt I did very well with the efforts I was putting in and I was competing well with people in training centres. I thought I had some potential and I tried to take advantage of it with the Olympic Oval program at the University of Calgary.”
“Marco is very competitive, before I came out to Calgary we used to always have little run-ins at competitions. Vince, he’s more chilled and relaxed but then he gets into the competition and he dials in and performs. I like our team”
On the women’s side, Alyson Charles of Montreal (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough), Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, QC, Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., and Claudia Gagnon of Saguenay (La Baie borough), QC will don the Maple Leaf. Sarault who took part in her first World Junior Championships last year, was crowned the 2017 Evo Intercontinental women’s overall Champion this fall at the Olympic Oval and skated to an overall Canadian Junior Championship of her own in dominant fashion with gold in the 1000m, 1500m and 1500m Super Final, and silver in the 500m.
Speed Skating Canada’s NextGen coach Sébastien Cros will lead the team with coaches Jeff Scholten (ChPC) and the Olympic Oval’s Alan McIlveen.
After taking the first two spots in overall rankings following the Canadian Junior Championships, Sarault and Charles, as well as Rudy and Schumann, will take part in the individual distances at the World Junior Championships, i.e. the 500m, 1000m and 1500m races.
“The first time, I didn't have any experience,” added Sarault, alluding to her first Worlds last year. “It was fun and I tried to do my best, but I was really nervous and the outcome wasn't what I wanted it to be. This year, after I went to some international competitions, including last year at the Worlds, I feel I have much more international experience. It got me ready for this time, and I actually feel like I can be up there on the podium.”
Following the three individual events, the top six skaters in the World Junior Championships overall standings will then skate in the 1500m Super Final.
Like Rudy, Girard will be skating in his first World Junior Championships. At Ville de Saguenay, Girard collected a bronze medal in the 500m and a gold medal in the 1500m Super Final while Marceau got a silver medal in the 1000m and a bronze in the 1500m Super Final.
“It’s pretty cool, we get all this gear and we get to represent Canada, it’s also really cool we are all training partners already so I am able to practice relay and train with the same guys I am going with.” said Girard of his Oval teammates “Marco is really focused person, he knows what he wants and he works so hard for it, he’s a good teammate.”
Members of the Canadian national team for the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland:
BLAIS, Danaé (Châteauguay, QC)
CHARLES, Alyson (Montreal, Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough, QC)
GAGNON, Claudia (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC)
SARAULT, Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.)
GIRARD, Vincent Girard (Ville de Saguenay, QC)
MARCEAU, Alexis (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)
RUDY, Adrian Rudy (Toronto, ON)
SCHUMANN, Marco (Saskatoon, SK)
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.