Marianne St-Gelais is a Canadian short track speed skater. She won two silver medals in the 500 m and 3,000 m events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
As an accomplished junior skater, and world record holder, St-Gelais placed first overall at the 2007 Canada Games with four gold (500m, 1000m, 3000m and relay) and one silver medal (1500m). St-Gelais was named team Canada’s “rising star” of 2009. Marianne St-Gelais is the 2009 world junior champion and world junior record holder in the 500 metres with a time of 43.922 seconds. St-Gelais won her first ever World Cup medal in 500m short track speed skating at Vancouver in 2009.
St-Gelais was a member of the Canadian team that attended the 2010 Winter Olympics in both the 500m and 3,000m relay.
Let’s know her complete story from the stunning lady herself in a candid conversation with Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness.
Ms. Namita Nayyar:
You began skating at the age of 10 and reached the pinnacle of success by winning two silver medals in the 500 m and 3,000 m events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Walk us through this spectacular journey and tell us how it all began?
Ms. Marianne St-Gelais:
When I first started speed skating, in St-Félicien (QC), I was just doing it for pleasure. I wasn’t very competitive as a person. I was 5th on the 5-people regional category. Wanted to follow my friends in the higher ranks, so I made sure to skate faster to be with them. When I got older, I realized I wanted to become better and faster. I eventually went up the ranks: to the provincial level, to the national level. I might not be the most technical skater, but I am recognized for my physicality and strength.
Even now, just like when I started, pleasure and the love of the sport are what gives me the energy to push me to attain my goals. I have learned to be competitive throughout the years. I am competitive in my sport, but I am the first one to congratulate a teammate or competitor after a race.
What I love about the sport is that it is individual, but you have your team to rely on. I love the collective aspect of the sport, both on ice and in the gym. I need my teammates to motivate me; I would not be able to train on my own.
The camaraderie in training motivates me every day, even when some don’t go as well. You think of the other 14 girls that rely on you to train.
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