Desire for Olympic Success Spurs Wotherspoon's Return to Speed Skating at 36

By Spencer, Donna | The Canadian Press, June 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Desire for Olympic Success Spurs Wotherspoon's Return to Speed Skating at 36


Spencer, Donna, The Canadian Press


Olympics bring Wotherspoon out of retirement

--

CALGARY - Jeremy Wotherspoon has a chest full of World Cup and world championship medals, but Olympic disappointments fuelled his desire to return to speed skating.

The 36-year-old intends to skate for Canada again and compete in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. His last World Cup race was March 6, 2010.

The Dutch broadcaster NOS reported Wotherspoon's comeback late Tuesday night.

Wotherspoon, from Red Deer, Alta., expanded on his desire to compete again in a video posted by the Kia Speed Skating Academy in Inzell, Germany. He's coached there since his retirement in 2010.

"My goal is to win a medal at the Olympics in Sochi," Wotherspoon says in the video. "The reason I have that goal is because I've never really felt fulfilled with my Olympic results so far.

"I know this is my last chance to get that fulfilment, so I'm going to do everything I can to try and find that."

Wotherspoon still holds the world record in the men's 500 metres of 34.03 seconds, which he set in 2007.

He won 67 World Cup races, three 500-metre world titles and another in the 1,000, plus four world sprint championships during his career

His Olympic silver medal in the 500 metres in 1998 is often forgotten because of a lack of medals at three subsequent Winter Games.

He was the favourite to win the 500 in 2002, but stumbled and fell. Wotherspoon was ninth in the 500 in both 2006 and 2010.

"My dream is to come back and compete in speed skating again because I want to win a medal at the Olympics in Sochi," Wotherspoon said.

"It was something that has been on my mind for years ever since I stopped skating and it's time to act. I can't keep thinking about it any more. I have to take action and live my dream because it's not something I want to regret."

Wotherspoon also tweeted Wednesday: "I want to say that I'm happy to be back in the game. It's going to be a big challenge, so thank you for all of the support."

The director of Canada's long-track speed skating team was surprised by Wotherspoon's announcement.

Sean Ireland says Wotherspoon gave no hint of his plans when they spoke two weeks ago at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame inductions. …

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