Canadian Speed Skaters Head For Winter Games

By Ben Hamill - January 25 2022

Canadian Speed Skaters Head For Winter GamesAs far as Olympic speed skating is concerned, Manitoba has a history that stretches back 90 years. The region has produced, simply put, some of the best in the world. Now 3 residents are hoping to keep the tradition alive. Alexa Scott of Clandeboye, along with Tyson Langelaar and Heather Mclean of Winnipeg, are headed to the Winter Games. Hopes of a Canadian gold medal ride with them.

It was last Monday that the Manitobans got the news that they will be representing Canada. Though, they won’t be going at it alone. The Canadian long track speed skating team consist of 16 members in total. But for the Manitobans it is a matter of living up to a nearly 100-year legacy. Hence all 3 will be looking to earn a spot on the podium, hopefully with a medal around their necks.

A History Of Achievement

Looking back at Canada’s history of Manitoba won Olympic medals, it all started with Winnipegger Frank Stack in 1932. The Winter Olympics was held in Lake Placid that year, and Stack managed to walk away with a bronze at the men’s 10,000-meter race.

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In 1976, Austria, the second Winnipeg resident stepped up to take the reins. It was Cathy Priestner that grabbed a silver in this case, managing to prove her worth in the women’s 500 meter.

It was then, of course, Cindy Klassen that really showed what Winnipegger’s are capable of. She took home a total of 5 medals in 2006, all but dominating the competition in Turin, Italy. Gold in the 1,500 meters, silvers in the 1,000 meters and team pursuit, as well as bronze in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. This is the most medals that any Canadian has taken home.

To look at it another way, Manitobans are the primary reason that speed skating is the most successful sport in the country.

All Eyes On McLean

Of the 3 going to the Winter Games in 2022, it is Heather Mclean that must be feeling the most pressure. She has been to the Winter Games before in 2018, participating in the 1,000 meter and 400-meter races. The results were a 25th place, and 14th place finish. Hopes are that she will be doing better on this occasion. But despite training an average of 6 hours a day, often 6 days a week, her season has so far been disappointing. Her current standing is 21st.

Alexa Scott, the youngest, was once a figure skater. The 20-year-old will be making her debut at an Olympic event, having enjoyed an outstanding junior career.

Tyson Langelaar is also making his debut. He has expressed concerns about the world health crisis but is still more than ready to represent Canada on the world stage.

No doubt the country as a whole is behind the 3 Manitobans, and the whole 16-person team.