Canadian Athlete of the Weekend
Defending Olympic champ tears up the track in Sochi
Every Monday, the CBCSports.ca team profiles a Canadian athlete that excelled over the weekend. This week's winner is Canadian speedskater Charles Hamelin, who raced to double gold in Russia.
The defending Olympic champ in the short track men's 500-metre event is heating up as the Sochi Games draw closer.
It may also be a good omen that Charles Hamelin captured both of his medals (one in the 500, the other in the 1,000) on the very same ice he will look to repeat his Vancouver Games performances in 2014.
With the countdown to the Sochi Games just over a year away, Hamelin showed he still has what it takes to get over the finish line first.
"In the 500, I usually lead or I'm second, but in the first lap I will pass to make sure I'm leading for the reminder of the race," he said. "Today I was second right off the start and I tried to make a pass after two-and-a-half laps, but without success.
"I knew my last chance was going to be at the finish and I took that chance. We finished the race and I waited impatiently for the result. I got the gold medal."
Watch his win in the 500, which he won over his Chinese counterpart in 0.03 seconds — less time than it takes to blink:
Hamelin picked up his second gold of the weekend by skating the 1,000 in a time of one minute 25.159 seconds, but the race wasn't without its harrowing moments for the Sainte-Julie, Que. skater.
"I was trying to be more patient and save energy for the end," Hamelin said "So in the middle of the race, I tried a pass on the outside, but I got caught by the Korean with his deep track and I almost fell. I didn't panic. I got back on my blades and got back to the pack.
"There was a lot of action, but I was able to make my way through to first and win the race. I hope this is going to be a good sign for me in one year."
Around the world
Check out where Canada's top athletes of the weekend were in action on our interactive map:
- Alex Bilodeau (Rosemere, Que.) took World Cup dual moguls gold in Park City, Utah.
- Chris Robanske (North Vancouver, B.C.) nabbed snowboard cross gold, in Collingwood, Ont., while Dominique Maltais (Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois, Que.) won silver.
- Travis Gerrits (Milton, Ont.) won silver at a World Cup freestyle aerials event in Park City, Utah.
- Perianne Jones (Almonte, Ont.) and Daria Gaiazova (Banff, Alta.) took cross-country bronze in Sochi.
- Tristan Tafel (Canmore, Alta.) won silver at a World Cup ski cross stop in Grasgehren, Germany.
- Canadian tennis stars Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.), Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ont.), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver), and Daniel Nestor (Toronto) got past world No. 1 Spain to reach the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in Vancouver.
With files from The Canadian Press