Speed Skating

Canadian speed skaters lose head coach to leave of absence less than a month before Olympics

Canadian long track speed skaters are without a head coach with just 24 days until the start of the Winter Olympics.

Michael Crowe was appointed to position in 2015 after coaching at 2010 and 2014 Games

Michael Crowe has been fired from his job as Canada's national speed skating coach. (Kevin Light/CBC)

Canadian long track speed skaters are without a head coach with just 24 days until the start of the Winter Olympics. 

Speed Skating Canada confirmed to CBC Sports head coach Michael Crowe has taken a leave of absence from the team. Speed Skating Canada provided no other details.

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Members of the team were notified of the move on Jan. 10, the same day the organization named the nine women and 10 men who will represent Canada in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Games begin Feb. 9.

Crowe, who is originally from Butte, Montana, has been with the Canadian long track speed skating program since 2007. In 2015, he was appointed head coach, then a new position created to oversee the entire program.

Joined Canadian team in 2007

Crowe, 64, first started his speed skating career as an athlete in 1974. In 1983 he joined the U.S. coaching staff, a spot he would hold until 1991. He rejoined the program from 1999 until 2002., going to three Olympic Games as a coach for the Americans. 

Crowe joined the Canadian team in 2007 and attended the 2010 and 2014 Olympics as a coach. 

Over the years athletes Crowe coached have won a total of 79 medals at world championships and 92 World Cups. In 2002, he was part of the coaching staff that guided the U.S. team to its single largest speed skating medal haul at the Olympics, picking up eight medals. 

Crowe was named coach of the year in the U.S. twice, in 1988 and 2002, and was Canada's coach of the year in 2010.
 

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