“The limit does not exist”: a trio of Canadian Olympic speed skaters announce their retirement
Three Canadian speed skaters, Gilmore Junio, Kaylin Irvine and Marsha Hudey, have retired after each representing the Maple Leaf for nearly a decade.
The trio of skaters were honored for their achievements in the sport and for Canada at the ISU World Cup of Speed Skating in Calgary on Wednesday, where their retirement became official.
Junio, a three-time Olympian who competed at his first Games in Sochi 2014, has 12 World Cup medals to his name in his career, including seven in the 500 meters and five in the team sprint.
Along with his gear, the 32-year-old Calgary native was the recipient of Speed Skating Canada’s first-ever Athlete Impact Award given to those who positively influence those around them.
« I’m really grateful to the sport of speed skating for everything it has given me, » said Junio.
In addition to Junio, Canadian speed skating is also losing another 32-year-old Calgarian in Kaylin Irvine, who has been on the international circuit since her World Cup debut in 2011-12.
She is the holder of two World Cup bronze medals in the team sprint, as well as a silver medal at the World Championships in this distance. Irvine is a two-time Olympian, having represented Canada at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.
« In many ways, skating taught me that the limit doesn’t exist, » Irvine said.
« I learned not to limit what I thought I was capable of, because if you love something, [and] you work on it… You can do anything.
The 32-year-old sprinter from White City, Sask., collected three World Cup medals during a career that began in 2013-14, including two bronze in the team sprint and a silver in the 500m.
Hudey has competed in a triad of Olympics in her career – Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 – with her best result coming in 2018 when she was the highest-ranked Canadian in the 500m, finishing 10th.
« I’m just very honoured, grateful and honored to have been able to represent Canada and my sport at the highest level, » Hudey said.
“There are so many things that I take away from [speed skating] that I know will serve me well. »