MacKay chasing World Cup spot

Pitt Meadows speed skater Michelle MacKay has been training with the best short track speed skaters in Canada, and this weekend ...

Michelle MacKay of Pitt Meadows is one of 16 skaters competing for a spot on the team that will represent Canada in the World Cup this fall.

Pitt Meadows speed skater Michelle MacKay has been training with the best short track speed skaters in Canada, and this weekend she will compete against them for a spot on the Canadian team.

It’s the start of a new Olympic cycle in speed skating, and this weekend is a big event on the calendar, as Speed Skating Canada hosts the fall short track ISU World Cup Selections.

The racing runs today (Friday) through Sunday.

The fastest six men and women will represent Canada in World Cup races this fall. The top two men and women will be picked based on the weekend results, and the rest at the discretion of the national team coaches.

MacKay arrived in Calgary last weekend, travelling with the national team. She lives in Montreal and trains there full-time.

“If you want to get to the next level, you have to go to a centre,” she explained.

There is more opportunity to train, the best coaching, and great intensity in the practices. There is a centre of excellence in Calgary, but she chose Quebec’s. The province is the hotbed of speed skating in Canada, and it is home of the biggest names in the sport, with rare exceptions.

On the men’s side, of the 16 competitors only three are not from Quebec, and on the women’s side just four.

She said the athletes have become good friends, but in Calgary, they will be out to beat each other this weekend..

They will skate the 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m events, and will be chosen for their placement.

Fast times are not really important. In short track speed skating, with its roller derby reputation and too-frequent crashes, it is placement that counts. Racing experience is as important as having tremendous speed.

MacKay has never competed at the ISU World Cup Selections before, so just skating in the weekend’s events will be an important step in her development.

There are some openings on the team, but there are other fast up-and-coming skaters who could take those spots.

Mackay is a sprinter, the 500m her best event, and her best shot to skate in the World Cup would be in that event. The top two skaters from the weekend selections will skate all events at the World Cup races, and the remaining four will be entered in events they are strongest at.

She enjoys the city of Montreal, the coaches with the centre, and attends school at Concordia University. She is studying athletic therapy, with the goal of becoming a physiotherapist.

MacKay has seen progress since training in Quebec. She originally trained with a regional team, and last year was invited to train with the members of the national team.

This weekend, she will get an idea of how far she has come.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: B.C. Parks need to be a priority in the upcoming election

Maple Ridge writer feels a more effort must be dedicated to preserving and upkeeping parks

13 productions shooting in Maple Ridge this month alone

Maple Ridge was one of the first Lower Mainland municipalities to welcome back film crews

ON COOKING: Chef Dez offers help in the kitchen during a pandemic

COVID-19 has more people at home and spending time in the kitchen

NETWORKING: Cultural competency is crtical in Maple Ridge, too

VIDEO: In response to Black Lives Matter, the CN Network conducted a number of local interview

Flames will start new season based in Abbotsford

Junior B team could not find ice in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

Most Read