Canadian Selections March 8-10 at the Oval
By Ryan Ohashi / PHOTO: BChrist Photography
Calgary, AB - Oval program athlete Cezara Bere has already had a spectacular season. She signed on full time in the Oval program last summer since then she competed at Canadian Jr. Short Track Championships, had a great showing at the Canadian Open National Qualifier and most recently medaled for Team Alberta at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. She’ll suit up next, this weekend as she qualified for the 2019 Canadian Selections at the Oval as a junior.
Not bad for a 14 year old.
The youngster continues to show maturity beyond her years in her dedication to the sport. The native of Edmonton, AB made the move to the Calgary and the Oval program in the Summer of 2018 with her mother Daniella. Adjusting to a new team, a new school and a new city came relatively easy.
“It was better than I thought” said Bere, “It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, the people here are really nice and my school is great.”
Bere, like many other Oval skaters, attends the National Sport School in Calgary whose alumni includes the likes of former Oval Program skaters turned Olympians Gilmore Junio and Kaylin Irvine.
Her transition from club to the full time Oval program has already paid dividends for the young skater as she has shown continued improvement all season long. She finished 19th at Canada Cup in Laval in November and followed that up with a solid showing at the Canadian Jr. Short Track Championships where she placed 14th overall, including a 7th place finish in the 1500m. This momentum continued as Bere qualified for this weekend’s Canadian Selections (a senior competition) with a 20th overall finish at the Canadian Open National Qualifier.
“I’m pretty excited” said Bere “I didn’t know if I would make seniors, but the competition went really well and my skating - for me I feel like it has improved a lot since the beginning of the season”
She wasn’t finished there. Bere then donned Alberta Blue this February as she skated in front to the home crowds at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. She captured a silver medal as a member of Team Alberta’s relay team alongside fellow Oval program athletes Caitlin Pelkey, Hee Won Son and Molly Young. Bere would also skate to a 4th place finish in the 1500m, where she was just edged off the podium in a photo finish.
“Canada Winter Games was as really cool experience, I loved competing there because of the energy from the crowd would always motivate you. Like, I am motivated in all my competitions but when you do something and the crowd explodes it makes you want to keep doing it” said Bere adding “I took a lot away from it, there were some really amazing skaters there and I learned a lot, got some personal bests and learned some techniques.”
Bere remains confidant but humble entering this weekend’s competition in which she is one if the youngest competitors. Skating with some of the best in the country outside her age group might intimidate some, but for the young skater, it remains another step in her journey, another chance to compete and take in as much as she can from the experience.
“I didn’t have [Senior Selections as] an end goal in mind” said Bere “I just wanted to improve from every competition and see where it would take me and here I am, so that’s pretty good.”
Canadian Selections will be webcast LIVE on the Olympic Oval Youtube Channel as will next week’s Oval Finale March 14-17.
Selections will headline a busy weekend at the Oval as Oval Grand Prix will also be taking place on the long track. Be sure to follow along on the live results page >LIVE RESULTS & PAIRS