Working behind the scenes with the development program for more than a decade, Marc Gagnon will now put his experience as a coach at the service of the national short track speed skating team.
The news was officially announced on Tuesday by Speed Skating Canada.
“I am really excited to be back with many of my former athletes and to be able to help them continue their development until the Olympic Games,” said Gagnon, himself a five-time Olympic medalist, in a press release.
The national short track team still relies on many athletes from Quebec, including Kim Boutin, Alyson Charles and Florence Brunelle, for the women, then Charles Hamelin, Steven Dubois and Pascal Dion, for the men, among others. New Brunswicker Courtney Sarault is also one of Canada’s top prospects.
As an assistant, Gagnon will lead the male and female athletes of the Canadian national team alongside new national team coach Sébastien Cros.
“I can’t wait to work with one of the world’s greatest short track coaches, Sébastien Cros,” added Gagnon. Sébastien and I see things the same way and being able to support him in his vision of developing the skills necessary for international success, that motivates me a lot. As I have said since my beginnings as a coach, I am committed to giving young people the necessary tools so that they too can have the chance to achieve their dreams. ”
Gagnon’s appointment is part of a new coaching staff structure deployed by Speed Skating Canada. Last October, Frédéric Blackburn lost his position as head coach of the national women’s team after a complaint had previously been filed by an athlete.
Besides the hiring of Gagnon, Cros was officially appointed coach of the national team.
“In addition to his background as a five-time Olympic medalist, Marc will also bring us the vast knowledge he has acquired over his many years as head coach of the Canadian Regional Training Center,” said Cros. Marc also demonstrates a strong capacity for work and he has a high level of requirements, which will allow us to improve the quality of the support we offer to our best athletes. ”