Player's Own Voice·Audio

Player's Own Voice podcast: Charles Hamelin's golden goodbye

CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice podcast connects with Charles Hamelin shortly after he tied Cindy Klassen as most decorated Canadian winter athlete.

Short track speed skater makes Canadian Olympic history in his final race

Charles Hamelin celebrates after Canada’s gold-medal win in the men's 5,000-metre short-track speed skating relay final at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Wednesday. (The Canadian Press)

Charles Hamelin knows how to conduct an Olympic career:  He won a medal at his first Games back in 2006. Kept winning medals and staying strong for 16 more years. Somewhere in the middle of all that, he gave Canadians a warm fuzzy moment by celebrating a win with a rinkside kiss. And he saved the best win for his last appearance. 

In his final skate, the new short track G.O.A.T. bagged Olympic gold medal No. 4. There are only three other Canadians with four gold medals. There is only one other Canadian Winter Olympian with six medals in total, and that's long track legend Cindy Klassen.

If anybody's counting, at 37 years old, Hamelin is also the oldest man ever to medal in his sport.

On that matter, career longevity, Hamelin credits his dad Yves with building the foundation for a life of incredible physical output. Charles and his brother Francois benefitted from a multi-sport childhood. He tells Player's Own Voice podcast host Anastasia Bucsis that the two brothers always had the choice: train hard, or relax with buddies. Hamelin admits he is still working on that 'relax with buddies' thing, but that's his choice. 

Hamelin has now delivered sport's most elusive commodity, the storybook finish. But there may be a capper coming. Hamelin is heading back to Montreal for his final World Cup competition in March. 

He has 142 World Cup medals in the trophy room already. But a final international race in front of a hometown crowd? With the Olympic champion team alongside him?  Better save some space on the last page of that storybook.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. 

A transcript is here for our hard of hearing audience. To listen to Charles Hamelin or any of the guests from earlier episodes, and more Canadian athletes throughout the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, head to CBC Listen — or wherever else you get your podcasts.

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