Three-time Olympic silver medalist Marianne St-Gelais officially announces her retirement
Speed Skating Canada – Montreal, May 30, 2018 – Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, who won three Olympic silver medals in short track speed skating, officially announced her retirement today.
Marianne St-Gelais, age 28, earned silver in the 500m and the women’s relay at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, and another silver in the women’s relay at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
She collected a total of 114 medals at the international level, including 93 on the World Cup circuit and 15 in World Championships. Among her results at the World Championships are the world title she earned in the 1500m, a silver in the 500m and a silver in the relay in 2016, allowing her to finish second overall. The following year, she tallied three silver medals and once again finished second overall.
“I feel like I’ve come at the end of the road and three Games are enough for me,” said Marianne St-Gelais.
“I find that these last few seasons have been my best in terms of performance,” she added. “All my eggs were in that basket. With the experience I had gained and the races I had skated over the last few years, my performance targets were geared towards the ‘now’.”
“On behalf of everyone at Speed Skating Canada, I want to congratulate and thank Marianne St-Gelais for her career overall, which included her three Olympic silver medals,” said Speed Skating Canada President Cathy Priestner Allinger. “Marianne not only shined with her performances, but also with her smile and her personality, which has made her a role model for Speed Skating Canada, Canada and the world. Congratulations Marianne and success to you in all that you pursue. You will shine!”
Junior world champion in the 500m distance in 2009 and a winner of a silver medal and two bronze in two stints at the World Junior Championships, Marianne St-Gelais skated in her first career World Cup in February of 2007, a few weeks after a dominating performance at the Canada Games held in Whitehorse, Yukon (three gold medals and one silver, three records beaten). She then joined the national team for the 2007-2008 season.
St-Gelais had a remarkable Olympic cycle over the last four years, as she notably won a total of 30 medals in 21 World Cup stages.
She was named Female Short Track Athlete of the Year six times by Speed Skating Canada, after being chosen Short Track Rising Star of the Year in 2009.
Marianne St-Gelais has many fond memories of her career.
“The ultimate defining moment was my individual medal in the 500m at the Vancouver Games, at home, on my birthday,” she said. “After going through three Olympics and racing nine individual distances, I know for a fact that everything must absolutely go right to come up with a performance that translates into a good result. It happened in front of a Canadian crowd and our 14,000 fans, and it will be a moment that will stay with me forever. And it happened on my birthday, which is another plus.”
St-Gelais will also fondly remember all of her relay races as well as her first world championship title, in the 1500m event in 2016.
“It was a good result, but it’s also the fact that it was the result of all the work that was done behind the scenes: my reconciliation with my coach Frédéric Blackburn, the work we did for example with Fabien (Abejean), and so on… It was the result of all these efforts, which were hard to get through and brought me there. That’s a title that means a bit more because of that,” she said.
“The years from 2014 to 2018 were also important in my life, because I thought long and hard on what sport meant to me, and about the legacy I wanted to leave,” added St-Gelais. “Before, I was more an athlete, and then I became more of a person these last few years. And that’s the best gift I was able to give to myself, and that sport gave me, which was to learn to know myself and to respect myself.”
When it comes to people to thank, Marianne St-Gelais insisted on having a kind word for… everybody!
“When I stepped onto that podium, all the people that supported me were up there with me,” she said. “I know that they were there with me, and that they had made a difference. And it wasn’t always people I knew well; it could also be someone who congratulated me at a time where things were more or less going well for me, and made me smile. But I also want to particularly thank Frédéric Blackburn, Fabien Abejean, my teammates, the support staff, my family, my sponsors and partners as well as Speed Skating Canada and the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec, who all believed in me.”
Marianne St-Gelais will now pursue a career in media.
More information is available on Speed Skating Canada’s website: 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
Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:
Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis
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Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897