Despite a season not going as she had intended, local speedskater Maddison Pearman has no complaints.
After a poor showing at the trials in the fall, Pearman was able to compete in Canada but left off the World Cup Roster travelling to Europe.
“It was a post-Olympic year of firsts,” said Pearman, from her home in Calgary.
“I didn’t know what to expect.”
Competing in Calgary and Quebec City, where she won gold, and placing well in the winter trials held in January, Pearman joined the team for World Cups Five and Six in Poland for the remainder of the season.
In World Cup Five, Pearman placed third in both the 1000-metre and 1,500-metre competitions; in World Cup Six she placed third in the 500-metre event.
The placing in the 1000-metre and 1,500-metre events qualified the skater for the world championships held in the Netherlands, where she placed 16th and 18th in her events.
“I could have maybe skated better,” Pearman acknowledged.
Pearman noted that the experience of skating in the Netherlands was a different one; unlike in North America where a speed skating event might draw a few hundred fans the venue where the world championships were held was packed with 12,000, much like a North American hockey arena.
Making the trip extra special was the fact that when Pearman took to the ice for the championships at the beginning of April, she did so in front of her mom, sister, and a group of five others who had travelled over to Europe in support of her.
“For a lot of people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Pearman.
“Looking back, I’m happy with how things went.”
Pearman added that as disappointing as not making the team in the fall was, it allowed her to “get back into the basics of training” and perform well for the rest of the season.
The speedskating season runs from September through to the end of March or the very beginning of April.
In the off-season, the former Ponoka resident resides in Calgary where she works and trains at the Calgary Olympic Oval. During the first few weeks off she spends decompressing mentally and physically.
Heading into May, off-season training begins anew with biking, running, hiking and ultimate Frisbee all helping with the physical conditioning process.
“I’m really looking forward to starting the new season off,” said Pearman.