Skater meets long track championship goal

Speed skater Maddison Pearman has returned from the World Junior Long Track Championships ranked 18th in the world.

Maddison Pearman competes at the World Junior Long Track Championships in Italy.

Maddison Pearman competes at the World Junior Long Track Championships in Italy.

Speed skater Maddison Pearman has returned from the World Junior Long Track Championships ranked 18th in the world.

The competition was in Collalbo, Italy from Feb. 10 to 25 part of the World Cup Skating season, and then the junior World Cup championships. “It was awesome, I had a lot fun.”

She competed on an outdoor rink in Collalbo in the 500 m, 1,000 m, 1,500 m and 3,000 m races. Weather had some effect on her speed but that was expected as the ice is softer than in Calgary where she trains.

The championships were the first world challenge for the 17-year-old skater, despite some nervousness, Pearman found the other skaters were friendly.

“It was good to get to know everyone a bit more on the last day,” she said. “It’s really cool to get to meet other skaters from around the world.”

She was nervous at the beginning and only skated the 1,500 m and 3,000 m during the first week. The goal was to become more comfortable with the track and the pressure of competing at such a high level. There were other girls who have competed internationally before who seemed more relaxed, added Pearman.

The skater tried not to let a fall in the first 1,500 metre race affect her but it took a few days before she was able to shake it off. Her focus during the championships was mostly one her fall and general performance but Pearman was able to bounce back. “I had to realize that was a different day, a different weekend, I could totally skate better and on the next few days I skated really well.”

Pearman credits her coach and mother, Shawna, with helping her feel more confident.

Skating for Canada has given her the desire to continue training and to also strive to be a better skater. Having the pressure to skate well is another experience she has learned from. Canada was one of 20 countries represented at the junior world championships and Pearman’s goal was to place in the top 25 ranking.

Nine Canadian skaters competed with four getting sick while in Collalbo and another skater getting an injury, which created a challenge for the Canadian junior team but Pearman feels they skated well.

She will compete in one more tournament next weekend in Calgary to close out the season.