Short track speed skater Joanie Gervais from Saguenay announces her retirement
Speed Skating Canada – Joanie Gervais, age 23, took part in the ISU World Junior Championships in February of 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, and earned a silver medal the following year at the same competition held in Erzurum, Turkey, alongside Audrey Phaneuf, Namasthée Harris-Gauthier and three-time Olympic medalist at the 2018 Games, Kim Boutin.
In 2014-2015, during her first season as a member of the national development team, she skated at the first four ISU World Cups of the season, and earned her best career result at the second stage, held in Montreal, with a sixth-place finish in the 1500m. Overall, she won two bronze medals in the relay on the World Cup circuit. At the 2015 Winter Universiades in Granada, Spain, Gervais collected another bronze medal in the relay, in addition to finishing fourth in the 500m.
“The decision to stop wasn’t easy to make,” said Joanie Gervais. “I had to think about my health first and foremost. I’ve had two concussions and the risk of suffering another had become too great. Fear prevented me from focusing entirely on my goals. After thinking about it for a few months, I’ve reached the heartbreaking decision to hang up my skates.”
Among her fondest memories are the 2012 Canadian Junior Championships.
“I had a rough summer and start to the season and, when I won the 1000m race at the 2012 Canadian Junior Championships, I clinched my spot among the top three and qualified for the World Juniors, and that was an incredible feeling because all the effort I had put into it was paying off,” said Joanie Gervais. “I should also mention the silver medal I won at the ISU World Junior Championships in Turkey in 2014 with Namasthée, Kim and Audrey. And also, the ISU World Cup in Montreal in the fall of 2014. Those are all moments I will never forget.”
She also thanked the people who contributed the most to her success throughout her career.
“I obviously want to thank my family, which supported me all these years, as did my sponsor Pizzeria Davis and my coaches Éric Jacques, David Simard, Jonathan Guilmette and Jeffrey Scholten,” she said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have gone as far as I did.”
Joanie Gervais is presently studying in kinesiology and is considering getting a master’s degree in order to specialize in that field.
More details are available at Speed Skating Canada’s web site at www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey. www.speedskating.ca
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