8:30 a.m., Feb. 9)
Local Olympians looking forward to competing in PyeongChang
By Fred Sherwin
the opening ceremonies out of the way, a quartet of athletes
with links to Orléans are poised to compete in the
Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea over the next
two weeks with hopes of winning a medal.
Blondin and Vincent de Haître are just two of the athletes
from Orleans who have aspirations of winning a medal
in PyeongChang. File photo
Blondin, Vincent de Haître, Isabelle Weidemann and Rachel
Homan will all get to share the Olympic experience as
competition was set to kick-off on Feb. 9.
De Haître and Weidemann will be competing in long track
speed skating, while Homan will carry the hopes of a curling
nation on her shoulders as she aims for a possible gold
medal in her sport.
will compete in the mass start, which makes its Olympic
debut in PyeongChang, the 3000-metres, the 5000-metres,
and the team pursuit.
my first Olympic Games, I felt like I was just starting
out and you are always mesmerized by the grandeur of the
event. I learned a lot from Sochi and now I’m more focused
on the process instead of the end results,” said Blondin.
“I’m now looking to pursue the performance I have proved
I’m able to deliver in the past few years.”
recently won the 3000-metre final in the World Cup event
in Erfurt, Germany and is a former World Cup champion
in the mass start.
Haître will compete in his specialty the 1000-metres,
as well as the 1500-metres and the team pursuit. De Haître
won both the 1000-metre and 1500-metre events at the Canadian
Olympic Team selection meetin January
Cumberland resident is an Olympic medal hopeful by virtue
of his silver medal performance in the 1000 metres at
the World Single Distance Championships last year, where
he also placed fourth in the 1500.
will be competing in both the 5000- and 3000-metre events
in Korea after winning the 5000-metres at the Team Selection
meet and finishing second to Blondin in the 3000.
5000-metres) is my specialty and the one I do the best
in,” says the Orléams resident. “So qualifying in this
one is really exciting for me. Going into the Games knowing
this is my event is satisfying and that is what I came
in to do.”
and De Haître are both eager to get back to the Olympics
where they will seek to improve on their rookie performances
four years ago in Socchi. Blondin finished a disappointing
24th in the 3000 metres and 14th in the 5000.
Haître fared even worse, placing 20th in the 1000 metres
and 33rd in the 1500. Both skaters are four years older
and have a number of recent successes they can draw upon
as they skate for gold, silver and bronze in PyeongChang.
who is the reigning Canadian and World Champion, will
be competing in her very first Olympics after winning
the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying event in front
of a hometown crowd at the Canadian Tire Centre in December.
curling competition kicks off on Feb. 14. In the meantime
the speed skaters will see action over the next five days
starting at 6 a.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 10 when Ivanie
Blondin will be gunning for a medal in the women's 3000-metres.
She will also be competing in the team pursuit event on
Wednesday, Feb. 21 and the mass start on Wednesday, Jan. 23 .
Haître's first event is the 1500-metres on Tuesday, Feb.
13 which will take place at 6 a.m. EST. He will also be
competing in the men's team pursuit on Feb. 21 and the
1000-metres on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 5 a.m. EST.
will be competing in the 3000-metres and team pursuit
with Blondin, as well as the women's 5000-metres which
will take place on Monday, Feb. 186 at 6 a.m. EST.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)