Thanks to financial support from the Quebec Speed Skating Federation (FPVQ), the best skaters in the province will participate in the last Short and Long Track World Cups.
For lack of money, Speed Skating Canada (SSC) chose to make a cross on these events, held in Minsk (short track) and Stavenger (long track). “Our reaction was that it did not make sense. That we had to find a way to send them there, “said FPVQ general manager Robert Dubreuil on Wednesday, without blaming the Canadian authorities, of which he knows the financial troubles. “I was surprised in a global view that our sport is there. But not so surprised because we see the means decline over the years since the Vancouver Olympics, “added Dubreuil, himself a former Olympic skater and father of Laurent Dubreuil.
Gathered ten days ago, the board of directors of the FPVQ decided to finance its athletes. His Canadian counterpart welcomed the idea with “much more positive than negative,” Dubreuil said.
To achieve its goals, the FPVQ asks for the support of the population and private partners. Those interested in giving can do to fpvq.org . The goal: $ 25,000.
The organization takes a certain risk, admits Robert Dubreuil. “We started there with uncertainty, because we could not wait until the [funding] campaign ended before making a decision. But we have had good financial management for several years. We will not borrow for that, that’s for sure, “he said.
A few weeks ago, Laurent Dubreuil launched a call for help on Facebook to find a pied-a-terre in Stavenger (Norway), wishing to take part in this event at his own expense, from 10 to 12 March. He will no longer have to empty his pockets. Dubreuil is qualified for the 500 meters.
“It’s great,” reacted the athlete from Levis to the news on Wednesday. “I am relieved, but I am also proud. Proud to see that our federation has made this decision to help the athletes of the elite. Because it’s not their mandate at all. ”
Dubreuil son will still stay with the good Samaritan in Stavenger. “Because I am grateful to the guy who welcomed me without knowing me. And my goal is not to raise the bill of the Quebec federation, “he explained, confident of seeing PVC find new sources of funding in 2017-2018, an Olympic year.
Short track, Valerie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Marie-Eve Drolet, Guillaume Bastille and François Hamelin will be among the nine skaters of the Canadian team in Minsk from February 10-12. The main stars of the discipline Marianne St-Gelais, Charles Hamelin and Charles Cournoyer will not be there, preferring to train in view of the World Championships, held from 10 to 12 March in Rotterdam.
The BC Speed Skating Federation also offered financial support to short track skater Jamie Macdonald, who will be in Minsk. The FPVQ intends to put pressure on its sisters in the other provinces to do the same with the long track athletes.