Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Legends of long track

Player's Own Voice podcast meets with Canada's chef de mission for Beijing 2022, Catriona Le May Doan, coach Shannon Rempel and skating commentator Kristina Groves for a state of the skate roundtable.

Speed skating greats join Anastasia Bucsis at the Calgary Olympic Oval

Kristina Groves, left, joins host Anastasia Bucsis, centre-left, Shannon Rempel, centre-right and Beijing 2022 chef de mission Catriona Le May Doan, right, for a roundtable discussion about speed skating in the run up to the Winter Olympics. (CBC Sports)

There's a buzz about the Canadian speed skating team leading up to the Beijing Olympics.

The recent national trials revealed surprising strengths, progress and plunging race times from veterans and newer hopefuls alike.

Before the echoing cheers from trials had a chance to dwindle away at Calgary's Olympic Oval, Player's Own Voice podcast host Anastasia Bucsis wrangled three champions of the sport for a sit down chat about speed skating.

Canada's chef de mission for Beijing 2022, Catriona Le May Doan, assistant coach Shannon Rempel, and multi medallist and commentator Kristina Groves, all piled around the table to talk through the constant challenge of pursuing high speeds on dime-thin skate blades.

None of these women care much for clichés, but they all agree: this is living proof that if you build it, they will come.

Canada's most successful winter Olympic sport came to be that way because decisions were made, back in 1988, to keep the Olympic skating oval, as well as coaching, training and expertise firmly in place.

There are Olympic medal hopefuls right now who could see and skate alongside the best of the best when they were first trying it out.

Legends of Long track - this week on POV podcast.

For our hard of hearing and deaf audience members, we are pleased to provide transcripts.

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

To listen to the entire fourth season, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever else you do your podcast listening.

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