Veteran Charles Hamelin wished his 16-month-old daughter Violette could see him skate at the Maurice-Richard Arena between August 21 and 29, during the Canadian Short Track Speed ​​Skating Championships. It will be for the next time, at least, he hopes.

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“Of course if you talk to Charles, the daddy, he would want his daughter to see him skate, but it will be for another time,” he commented briefly, with the water rising to his eyes. There aren’t many left, but we’ll make sure that happens. ”

Originally, there were to be 250 spectators admitted to the Montreal enclosure, as approved by Public Health. However, work on the ventilation system of the Maurice-Richard arena will prevent the presence of people in the stands, ruled the City of Montreal.

At 37, Hamelin has no energy to waste to further fuel this debate. He prefers to focus on the task at hand in order to achieve his next goal: to participate in his fifth Olympic Games, in February 2022, in Beijing.

“My ‘job’ is on the ice that it happens. I want to race and qualify for the Games, ”said the man who already has five Olympic medals, including three gold.

These Canadian Championships represent an important step on the road to take him to China in just six months.

A quote from Andre De Grasse

As an inspiration, Hamelin admits having watched virtually everything from the recent Summer Olympics.

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“When the athletes deliver their performance, I get emotional, I bawl, I can be happy for them, as much if not more than if I am the winner,” he said. There was Andre De Grasse, whom I have already met a few times, and I admire him a lot. The fact that he obtained such good results at the Games proves that he is one of the greats of the sport. “

The speed skater also retains a sentence uttered by the famous sprinter during the Tokyo Games: “never let success go to your head and never let your bad results reach your heart”.

For Hamelin, this quote means a lot.

Regarding the Canadian Championships, which will take off on Saturday, Hamelin is confident to finish in the top 4. This would allow him to qualify through the front door for the next World Cups.

“I never took anything for granted and it’s not today that I’m going to start doing it,” he noted. I will have to do smart races and collect big points when possible. Consistency is essential in a competition like this. ”

Manage your energy

The athlete from Sainte-Julie intends to prove once again that he is one of the best, despite the gray hair that is starting to grow under his helmet.

“With the result I obtained last year at the World Championship, I think people have realized that despite my age, despite having been here for a long time, despite having become a dad, I am still in good shape, because I made the right choices at the right time, ”said the man who finished in sixth place overall at the last Worlds in March, winning the gold medal in the 1,500 meters.

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“You have to use your energy at the right time,” said Hamelin, of the format of the Canadian Championships. It’s still over nine days that competition, we talk about three times each distance [500, 1000 et 1500 m] over five days of competition. You have to be focused on a daily basis, even on days when there is no running, you have to think about what to do when you get home, make sure you rest. ”

At home, little Violette will be able to contribute in her own way by being good and sleeping well at night. Thus, she will increase her chances of seeing her father, on two blades, at the next Olympic Games.

  • The Canadian Short Track Speed ​​Skating Championships are scheduled for August 21, 22, 25, 28 and 29 at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal.

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