Tamara Oudenaarden and François Déry announce their retirement from long track speed skating
Speed Skating Canada – Calgary, February 9, 2016 – Tamara Oudenaarden of St. Albert, AB, and François Déry of Lévis, QC, who have been part of the Long Track Speed Skating National teams, recently announced their retirement from competition.
Tamara Oudenaarden 28, decided to hang up her skates following a career of 21 years where she took part in the 2009 World Single Distance Championships. She finished 18th in the 500m. She also represented Canada three times at the World Sprint Championships (2008, 2009 and 2010), where she took the 11th spot in the 500m in 2010. She also raced in 21 World Cup stages. At the 2010 Olympic Games, she was a member of the Canadian team as an alternate.
“The biggest thing that I will take away from speed skating is not the results I attained, but comes from the process of becoming a good speed skater. Since moving to Calgary, I had the pleasure of being part of a couple of teams, each coached by someone different and which always had different people in it. Yet, we always became a family unit, creating memories together and friendships from the daily training, competing, travelling and training camps that will last a lifetime. I have so much love for my skating family!”
Tamara Oudenaarden also thanked many people, including her family.
“One of my greatest memories has to be the Olympic Trials, when a huge group made up of my family and friends came out and they were all wearing red ‘Team Tamara’ Shirts. They were so rowdy and excited when I walked up the stairs after I was named to the Olympic team in 2010. And they were also all there in 2014 in the stands with open arms and hugs when I walked up with tears in my eyes when I hadn’t made the team. It was so special that they were there for both moments in my life, and I am just so grateful to have such supportive friends and family. I am just so blessed to have had such constant love and support and encouragement throughout all my years as a speed skater.”
“I would also like to thank my friends, teammates, support and medical staff, sponsors, volunteers, my church, Speed Skating Canada, Calgary Olympic Oval, Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association, Edmonton Speed Skating Association, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Sport Canada, Podium Alberta, CSI Calgary, the University of Calgary, as well as my personal sponsors and main coaches including Kathy Gregg, Selina Elm, Crispin Parkinson, Kevin Crockett, Mike Crowe, Bart Schouten and Jack Walters. The role you have played in my life, the moments that you were all a part of, the encouragement and belief you had in me goes so much further than a personal best or result in a competition; it is the little things compiled together and it has created such a beautiful part of my life.”
Tamara Oudenaarden will now go back to school full time in a nursing program. She is also getting involved in coaching.
“I just want to give back to a community that gave so much to me.”
Retraite pour le champion canadien junior 2012
François Déry of Lévis, QC, 22, was crowned Canadian Junior Champion in 2012, and, that year, he also represented Canada at the World Junior Championships. He won four medals at the 2011 Canada Games, while winning a bronze medal in the 10 000m at the 2014 Canadian Single Distance Championships.
“I think I’m very lucky to have had the chance to be active in this sport for such a long time and at that level”, said François Déry. “The experiences that speed skating gave me built the person I am today and I will keep a lot of priceless memories. A big thank you to all my teammates, opponents and coaches, actual or past, as well as to my parents who have been on my side through all those years. It has been incredible!”
François Déry will now go back to school for his Actuarial degree. He also hopes to stay involved in speed skating in one way or another.
“I would like to congratulate Tamara Oudenaarden and François Déry for their great career in speed skating,” said Speed Skating Canada’s President Jim Allison. “I hope that they will become role models for the younger ones back in their hometown!”
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. 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.
SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.
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Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada