Photo: Jeff McIntosh, The canadian Press
Vincent of Haître
Even if he knows for a few months already, it was only on Wednesday that Vincent of Haître was able to officially say : “Mission accomplished.”
Is that the canadian olympic Committee (COC) and Cycling Canada has unveiled the names of 17 athletes, nine women and eight men, who will represent Canada in the cycling events on road and track cycling at the olympic Games in Tokyo, pushed back until 2021. Of Haître, who has represented Canada in long track speed skating at the Sochi Games in 2014, and Pyeongchang, four years later, did part of the batch.
“Even if I know it since a few months I couldn’t talk about it before the COC doesn’t do this — it gives me a lot of joy. I am very happy for this qualification for the summer Games “, he said during a telephone interview with The canadian Press.
The difficulty for him will now combine the high-level training for the two sports, since the winter olympic Games to Beijing will only take place six months after those of Tokyo, which has been rejected by the pandemic COVID-19.
“Return to skating, it’s more difficult than I would have imagined. But this is life : this is not a common practice two sports, and there are really no models of training that I can trace, explained Haître. It is of the unknown. We try to match the training days of each sport, not to pass from one to the other each day. “
It is because of this short period of time — 180 days between the closing ceremony in Tokyo and the opening to Beijing — that of Haître and his team had to change their approach.
“The way you look at it, is that when I am cycling I am a cyclist, when I’m skating, I’m a skater. I do not think that I come to work in the other sports when I am training. I completely closed my mind to other sports and I’m concentrating 100 percent on what I’m doing. “
One thing is certain : of Haître does not make figuration in Tokyo.
“In skating, I still have the world record in the team sprint, the canadian brand on 1000 m, a podium at the world Championships and several podium finishes before. By bike, I did less of the competitions, but I’m still several time national champion on the 1000 m — I have the national record in the two sports over this distance — and I have a podium in the 1000 m of the pan-american Championships, where I also won the team pursuit.
“I’m part of the team that established the national mark in the pursuit and I also finished fourth in the world Championship time trial 1 km : I know that I am an athlete an elite level at an international level in both sports, in spite of my training time is limited. This is where I base my confidence. “
Jasmine Duehring will lead the women’s team, who will be at his third Games with the women’s team pursuit, bronze medallist in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). It will be accompanied by her teammates at the olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Allison Beveridge and Georgia Simmerling, as well as Annie Foreman-Mackey and Ariane Bonhomme, who will be their first Games.
In addition to the lawsuit, Beveridge will also compete in the omnium. Kelsey Mitchell and Lauriane Genest will represent the country in the sprint and keirin. The sprinteuses will be reached in males by the veteran, Hugo Barrette, and the canadian champion Nick Wammes.
The men’s team to Tokyo will also be made up of Derek Gee, Jay Lamoureux and Michael Foley. On the road, Michael Woods will be the leader. He will be joined by Hugo Houle, as well as by a third rider, whose identity is yet to be confirmed.
The women’s team will be led by the defending canadian Leah Kirchmann and Karol-Ann Canuel.
The last athlete for the road race, male, and substitutes who will not make the trip will be selected in may 2021, as the athletes for the trials of mountain bike and BMX will be chosen by June 2021.