Cumberland speed skater Vincent de Haître has found his silver lining on his first ever medal at the world championships, on the same ice where the speed skating events will be held at the 2018 Olympic Games.
De Haître, who was named the city’s male athlete of the year on Feb. 1 at the Ottawa Sports Awards, won a silver medal in the men’s 1,000 metre race on Feb. 11 in Gangneung, South Korea at the 2017 ISU World Single Distance Championship.
It’s the first ever world championship medal for the skater, who is now based in Calgary.
He finished behind one Dutch skater and in front of another with 1:08:54 time.
“It's still sinking in,” he said. “I knew I had the potential to do it throughout the season, but there was still a lot of work to do to be able to reach it. I'm confident that this is a pretty good step for my progression towards the Olympics and I'm excited to see how it will go.
He said the ice surface reminds him of the national team’s home ice at the Calgary Oval, which was an advantage.
“All week long, I worked on speed, but my coach told me the last part of my race was my best, which surprised me because it wasn't our main focus. Our main focus was to be relaxed and getting up to speed as efficiently as possible,” he said in a video interview with Speed Skating Canada.