Speed skater Maddison Pearman has been accepted into a national development pool with Speed Skating Canada for the 2016/17 season intended to push her skills forward in the long track category.
Pearman is among 34 Canadian skaters who had strong performances last season, enough to put them among the top in the country. These athletes are placed in three teams: national elite, senior and development, the latter of which Pearman is a part of.
In an interview, Pearman said the development pool is for athletes who show potential for the 2018 winter Olympics and who also have a strong chance at earning medals in the 2022 and 2026 Olympics. It’s an opportunity that brings more than just training benefits; Pearman receives financial support to reduce the actual training and travel costs associated with the sport.
“I’m in a much better place than last year,” said Pearman.
Until the actual season, team members have been training six times a week, two times a day, mostly on dry land in Calgary. A few times a week they also speed skate. With direction from coach Xiuli Wang, Pearman and a tight knit group of athletes are getting ready for the season.
Pearman says her strengths lie in long track, in the 1,000m and 1,500m events but she said Wang wants her to be well-rounded in her skills. Goals for this season, which starts up in September, include having a higher ranking at the World Cup trials set for October in Calgary.